Thanks to a new three-in-one blood test, AstraZeneca's drug Lynparza could be transformed into precision medicine for patients with prostate cancer, researchers said.
On Monday, June 19, a newly published study revealed how a blood test that analyzes cancer DNA from patients can revolutionize prostate cancer treatment.
AstraZeneca's Lynparza has long been approved for the treatment of ovarian cancer and has yielded positive results for breast cancer treatment. Now, the three-in-one blood test can modify Lynparza so that this drug can adjust to the changes in the condition of prostate cancer patients.
Treatment Against Prostate Cancer Tumors
Scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London revealed in a study that their new blood test can identify which patients with advanced prostate cancer will likely benefit from Lynparza. They are also monitoring which patients are responding well to the treatment.
In addition, the revolutionary blood test can detect if the prostate cancer is evolving genetically or becoming drug-resistant.
The development of this three-in-one blood test highlights a step forward for liquid biopsies, a process that involves collecting simple blood samples from patients instead of invasive tissue biopsy.
AstraZeneca's Lynparza is the first in a new class of anti-cancer agents called PARP inhibitors, which are capable of blocking enzymes that repair damaged DNA. PARP inhibitors can help kill cancer cells.
Researchers hope that the blood test will allow Lynparza to become the standard treatment for advanced prostate cancer patients, that it will potentially reduce the side effects of treatments, and that it will ensure that patients could stop receiving drugs that are unlikely to do them good.
Major Impact on Prostate Cancer Treatment
Professor Johann de Bono, one of the researchers of the study, believes that the blood test can have a major impact on the treatment of prostate cancer and that it can be used to open the option of precision medicine to patients with other types of cancer.
Furthermore, De Bono said the blood test can be used to make conclusions about whether a PARP inhibitor is effective within four to eight weeks of therapy.
Meanwhile, Professor Paul Workman, chief executive at the research institute, explained that blood tests are inexpensive, simple to use, and non-invasive and that these tests can be used to regularly monitor patients to detect early if the treatment is failing.
"We believe it can usher in a new era of precision medicine for prostate cancer," said Workman.
Details of the study are published in the journal Cancer Discovery.