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Next-Generation Multiomics Blood-Based Test for Pancreatic Cancer Could Become Powerful Tool for Early Diagnosis and Treatment

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 07 Oct 2021
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Freenome Holdings, Inc. (South San Francisco, CA, USA) has demonstrated the potential of extending its multiomics approach into other cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, with biomarkers already embedded in the existing platform.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, with an overall five-year survival rate of 11%. If detected at an early stage, the five-year survival rate increases to 42%. The only FDA-authorized test for pancreatic cancer is the carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9), which is only cleared for monitoring response to therapy.

The retrospective study of 75 participants evaluated whether Freenome's multiomics approach of combining methylation and CA19-9 signals together (as a subset of existing analytes in the platform) detected pancreatic cancer in stages II, III and IV with higher sensitivity than either alone. Across all stages studied, Freenome's approach achieved a sensitivity of 93% at a nominal specificity of 96%. At an identical specificity, the sensitivity of methylation or CA19-9 alone was 74% and 87%, respectively. In stages II, III and IV, the multiomics approach achieved a sensitivity of 82%, 89%, and 100%, respectively.

The new study demonstrates that Freenome's platform can be used to detect pancreatic cancer in addition to colorectal cancer (CRC). Last year, Freenome presented data showing a sensitivity of 94% at a specificity of 94% for early-stage (I/II) CRC using their multiomics platform. Freenome's CRC test is currently undergoing analytical and clinical validation.

"We're demonstrating success in detecting CRC and advanced adenomas in blood. We're now expanding our platform to detect additional cancers," said Mike Nolan, chief executive officer, Freenome. "Our goal is to transform the way cancer of all types is managed by enabling early detection, and this data on pancreatic cancer is an important step in that direction."

"An accurate blood-based test like this could be a powerful tool for early diagnosis and treatment, impacting so many patients," said Randall Brand, M.D., professor of Medicine and Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and co-author of the study. "We are hoping to further validate the findings through additional studies, which are already underway."

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Freenome Holdings, Inc. 

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