Biocept announced that new data show the company’s cerebrospinal fluid assay, CNSide, detected tumor cells and identified actionable mutations in lung cancer patients with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, allowing for targeted treatment decisions that may improve outcomes and extend life expectancy.
More than 198,000 patients are diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) each year. An estimated 3-9% of those patients will develop leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LMC), a complication in which the cancer spreads to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. LMC is typically diagnosed through clinical evaluation, imaging and cytology, which have limited sensitivity. When left untreated, the average patient life expectancy is just four to six weeks.
The retrospective study, conducted at the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute, used Biocept’s CNSide assay to detect and analyze tumor cells in the cerebrospinal fluid of 15 unique patients. Of the samples analyzed, CNSide detected tumor cells in 100% of samples with LMC, while cytology detected tumor cells in just 40% of the samples. CNSide also identified actionable biomarkers in tumor cells, which allowed oncologists to make targeted treatment decisions that reduced debilitating symptoms and extended patient lives by more than three years in some cases. The study results suggest that CNSide is more sensitive than cytology, and survival of patients with LMC can be prolonged if an actionable target is identified and treated.
“LMC is a devastating diagnosis for patients and, quite often, hospice is the only recommended course of action,” said Wallace Akerley, M.D., University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute, and lead study investigator. “However, we now have targeted therapies that can improve and dramatically extend the lives of patients with LMC who have a treatable mutation. This study shows that using CNSide to interrogate the cerebrospinal fluid for actionable mutations provides the information needed to determine the appropriate treatment for patients with LMC. With the right therapy, we have the ability to restore quality of life and extend life expectancy for many patients.”
“Identifying actionable mutations is critical for treating patients with LMC,” said Michael C. Dugan, M.D., Biocept’s chief medical officer and medical director. “CNSide has demonstrated the ability to reliably detect and analyze tumor cells in the cerebrospinal fluid that may not be found in blood or tissue samples. The specific molecular targets identified in these tumor cells can help guide a physician's choice of newer, more effective therapies and inform the response to therapy in a way that can really help these patients see an improvement of symptoms and live significantly longer lives.