Predicting the Response to Immunotherapy
While significant strides in cancer treatments have been made, there are still many who are diagnosed with certain types referred to as ‘death sentences’. Recently though, new studies in these fields are proving that may not always be the case – results are showing that select cancer groups may have the keys for treatment in their genetic makeup. Here are some excerpts from one of the breaking news stories in 2017.
The results, published on Thursday in the journal Science, are so striking that the Food and Drug Administration already has approved the drug, pembrolizumab, brand name Keytruda, for patients whose cancers arise from the same genetic abnormality.
…After taking pembrolizumab, 66 patients (of 86 in the trial) had their tumors shrink substantially and stabilize, instead of continuing to grow. Among them were 18 patients whose tumors vanished and have not returned.
It is the first time a drug has been approved for use against tumors that share a certain genetic profile, whatever their location in the body. Tens of thousands of cancer patients each year could benefit.
– New York Times ‘Cancer Drug Proves to Be Effective Against Multiple Tumors’, June 8, 2017
In research studies and clinical trials, our MSI assay has been useful in predicting a patient’s response to immunotherapy–a treatment gaining traction for those with certain forms of advanced cancer in which chemotherapy is not effective. Previously, treatment for tumors focused on the location within the body while immunotherapy effective in MSI tumors works by understanding genetic features within a tumor. By zeroing in on these genetic features, oncologists and pathologists are able to more accurately target immunotherapy.
Providing Reliable Tools for Clinical and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories
Molecular diagnostic laboratories rely on access to high-quality, consistently performing products in their assays. Promega manufactures reagents under a rigorous quality program that contributes to robust and reliably performing molecular assays. Products are manufactured to the highest quality standards through maintenance of ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certification as well as enhanced capabilities for cGMP manufacturing. The Promega PCR Optimization Kit, launched in 2016, allows customers to rapidly define their own unique PCR master mix for a variety of applications in research or clinical use. This is just one example of how we can provide flexible solutions with product customization options to meet clinical laboratory or IVD manufacturers’ needs.