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Lung cancer

Background

Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer, and by far the most common cancer death among both men and women.1 Symptoms often appear late, at an advanced, non-curable stage.

Most of the existing pharmaceuticals target late stage (III and IV) lung cancer patients. However, these treatments only have effect in about 30% of cases.

Moreover, the current standard method for detection of lung cancer and screening of risk groups in the USA – LDCT (Low Dose CT Scanning) – has a low specificity. Data from the National Lung Screening Trial2 (NLST) in the USA showed that 96.4% of positive LDCT’s are benign findings (false positives). LDCT also delivers a potentially harmful dose of radiation.

Clinical need

Early detection of lung cancer saves lives – this was demonstrated in the NLS Trial2, where annual screening with LDCT resulted in a 20% improvement in lung cancer mortality. However, because the number of false positive results when using LDCT is so high, a test for the early detection of lung cancer that can better differentiate between false and true positives is needed. Improved screening of high risk groups before imaging could also greatly increase survival rates.

In addition, patient monitoring using a more reliable and accurate test could help clinicians better select appropriate treatment, by assisting in the early differentiation of responders to treatment and non-responders.

Early diagnosis of lung cancer based on the IMMray™ platform

A collaborative, retrospective study, performed together with a major pharma company, showed that an IMMray™ blood-based biomarker signature is able to differentiate healthy controls from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) samples with a 95 % accuracy (press release from August 9, 2018). NSCLC is by far (80%) the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for nearly 14% of all new cancers.

The retrospective study that was performed to assess the technical performance of the IMMray™ platform in lung cancer, included 100 serum samples: 50 NSCLC and 50 controls.

As a consequence of the encouragingly high diagnostic accuracy of 95%, the parties now plan for continued collaboration including larger studies to confirm these preliminary findings.

Having previously also demonstrated high (98%) accuracy in the detection of pancreatic cancer, we believe IMMray™ has the potential to become a standard common platform for cancer diagnosis based on blood samples, including the screening and diagnosis of lung cancer.

Current status

  • A collaborative, retrospective study, performed together with a major pharma company, showed that an IMMray™ blood-based biomarker signature is able to differentiate healthy controls from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) samples with a 95 % accuracy.
  • Encouraged by this initial success, the parties now plan for continued collaboration and larger studies to confirm the results.

References:

1. American cancer society, www.cancer.org.
2. The National Lung Screening Trial Research Team, N Engl J Med 2011; 365:395-409

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