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Molecular Diagnostic Test Accurately Predicts Therapy Outcomes in Breast Cancer Patients

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 11 Mar 2024
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Image: RNA Disruption Assay is a cancer diagnostic platform measuring tumor response early in cancer treatment (Photo courtesy of Rna Diagnostics)
Image: RNA Disruption Assay is a cancer diagnostic platform measuring tumor response early in cancer treatment (Photo courtesy of Rna Diagnostics)

Breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. In 2022 alone, it accounted for 2.3 million new cases globally, with 670,000 fatalities. As cancer drug development progresses, the demand for diagnostic tools to optimize these treatments is increasingly needed. Studies, both preclinical and clinical, have shown a significant link between the disruption of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and the effectiveness of treatment. Notably, a lack of RNA disruption is often tied to a poor response to therapy and a grim prognosis. In primary breast cancer, the disruption of tumor RNA by drugs varies according to each individual's tumor biology, regardless of the cancer subtype. Now, a molecular diagnostics test that evaluates tumor response to anti-cancer drug therapy has the potential utility to enable the timely optimization of cancer treatments.

Developed by Rna Diagnostics (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), the RNA Disruption Assay (RDA) is an innovative test designed to measure the extent of RNA disruption in tumor cells. This test can predict, with remarkable accuracy, the likelihood of complete tumor elimination post-treatment in breast cancer patients undergoing pre-operative chemotherapy. Utilizing RDA testing, oncologists can adapt treatment plans based on an early assessment of a patient’s response, enhancing or reducing treatment as needed. Such timely adjustments in pre-operative treatment could not only minimize the adverse effects of ineffective drugs but also improve patient outcomes by switching to alternative treatment regimens.

Rna Diagnostics has recently released phase 1 results of the BREVITY (Breast Cancer Response Evaluation for Individualized Therapy) clinical trial. This trial, part of an international two-phase study conducted across 55 cancer centers in Canada, the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, and Poland, aims to establish the efficacy of RDA in predicting outcomes from pre-operative chemotherapy. Phase 1 involved 80 patients with stage I, II, or III breast cancer, who underwent pre-operative drug treatment followed by surgical removal of the tumor. These initial results show the assay's strong ability to accurately predict treatment outcomes during the therapy course, enabling oncologists to tailor patient care more effectively.

“Our ultimate goal is to personalize breast cancer treatments. If validated, this test has the potential to accurately predict which treatment will be effective for an individual patient,” said Dr. Foluso Ademuyiwa, Co-Chair of BREVITY Steering Committee.

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