New 3-in-1 Blood Test Could Improve Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment

New 3-in-1 Blood Test Could Improve Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment
British researchers have developed what they call a three-in-one blood test for advanced prostate cancer — one that helps doctors select an initial treatment, check whether it is working, and monitor the disease long term. The test grew out of research on levels of cancer DNA in patients' blood, which scientists call circulating DNA levels. Higher levels can indicate the disease is progressing. Researchers developed the test to help doctors tailor therapies for prostate cancer stemming from an inherited BRCA gene mutation. They hope it leads to treatment improvements. Researchers from two London research facilities — the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden National Health Services Foundation Trust — conducted the study. The article they wrote, "Circulating Free DNA to Guide Prostate Cancer Treatment with PARP Inhibition," was published in the journal Cancer Discovery, The team obtained blood samples from 49 advanced prostate cancer patients enrolled in the Phase 2 TOPARP-A clinical trial (NCT01682772). The trial is assessing whether the PARP inhibitor Lynparza (olaparib) is effective against advanced cases of the cancer. The London researchers learned that some patients responded to Lynparza, some failed to respond, and some responded, then stopped. The circulating DNA in patients who responded to Lynparza fell in half after only eight weeks, the team discovered. In contrast, circulating DNA rose by 2 percent in patients who failed to respond to the therapy. In addition, patients who responded to Lynparza
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