A University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center researcher recently revealed oncogene mutation load in urinary cell-free DNA is significantly correlated with treatment course, according to a study conducted in partnership with Trovagene, a San Diego, CA based biotech firm seeking to improve cancer treatment with technology that detects cell-free DNA and RNA.
Filip Janku, M.D., Ph.D. studied multiple sequential urine samples collected at least four weeks apart from 17 patients with various types of advanced cancer that contained BRAF V600E mutations, a gene transformation that determines sensitivity to proteasome inhibitors. Mutations were analyzed from the tissue biopsies and the status was determined before and after patients starts systematic therapy.
The researchers noticed a high statistically significant correlation between transformations in the quantity of BRAF V600E mutation load and the treatment response, according to the longitudinal analysis of the tissue samples with resource to Trovagene’s cancer monitoring system. Patients with a decrease of the mutation load had longer median time to treatment failure compared to those who did not suffer the reduction, 259 versus 61 days respectively.
“These data suggest that detecting oncogene mutations in urinary cell-free DNA can offer a non-invasive tool for monitoring treatment effect in patients undergoing targeted cancer therapy,” stated Dr. Janku. “The statistically significant correlation between mutational status and treatment response suggests that oncogene mutation monitoring has potential to help clinicians rapidly determine responders from non-responders, which may enable more precise treatment decisions and improved patient outcomes,” he added.
Trovagene engages in numerous collaborations with academic medical centers and integrated healthcare networks in order to gain commercial acceptance for the precision cancer monitoring platform and “to improve the standard of care for cancer patients.”
“The results from this study continue to evolve and demonstrate that our molecular diagnostics can non-invasively detect and track oncogene mutations in patients with a variety of cancers and treatment regimens,” added Mark Erlander, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Trovagene.
The study, entitled “Longitudinal monitoring of BRAF V600E mutation in urinary cell-free DNA of patients with metastatic cancers” was published on Journal of Clinical Oncology, at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting. This recent presentation was a follow-up to a previous news release from October, 2013, which demonstrated that urine status was highly associated with tissue mutational status.