Cancer Patients Missing Personalized Therapy Due to Quality Issues for Genetic Tests

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Incorrect, inconclusive, and delayed test results for 13 cancer-linked biomarkers are hindering around 78,000 patients per year from receiving personalized, targeted treatments, a recent analysis found.

These missed opportunities mean that thousands of patients, who could have gotten drugs, such as Herceptin, Tarceva, and Xalkori, that target molecular drivers of their tumors — and which have been shown to slow cancer progression, improve quality of life, and even extend survival ― likely ended up getting more toxic chemotherapies. Additionally, the data from consulting-turned-medical technologies firm Diaceutics suggest that suboptimal testing is costing the sponsors of these drugs.

Because of inadequate investments to ensure faster turnaround times, lower false-positive rates, and sufficient sample quality around a dozen biomarker tests, pharma loses $8.3 billion in annual drug revenue in the US, and double that amount when five leading European markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) are added to the mix. With these data, Diaceutics is trying to drive home to its pharma clients that they can no longer treat the diagnostics that help identify which patients will benefit from their drugs as an afterthought.

“So, does testing matter? Does this prequel to the treatment matter?” posited Diaceutics

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