Platinum-based chemotherapy – cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin – is the primary therapeutic intervention used to treat solid tumours in over 500,000 cancer patients per year in the EU.
It requires approximately three months per patient to determine whether they are responding to platinum-based therapy. Some cancers, such as non small cell lung cancer, have average overall survival rates of a year or less from diagnosis, and non-responsive cancers may progress during treatment, which may limit their subsequent treatment options.
Although some patients are cured by this type of chemotherapy, as many as 75% of lung cancer patients and 60% of bladder cancer patients show no benefit and could be more appropriately given alternative treatments, saving over €4bn wasted annually on unnecessary treatments. There is a need for a rapid, accurate predictive diagnostic test to increase the usefulness of the therapy by identifying which patients will respond to treatment before chemotherapy, and to reduce needless suffering from toxic side effects.
Accelerated Medical Diagnostics have developed a patent pending predictive diagnostic test, PlatinDx, which can be used to identify those patients which are appropriate for platinum-based chemotherapy. Cancer patients are given a microdose (1% of the therapeutic dose) of a platinum-based drug, followed by quantitation of drug-DNA adducts in biopsy tissue using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Levels of drug-DNA damage are measured by AMS in white blood cells and tumor biopsy tissue, which are used as a predictor of therapeutic response to full-dose chemotherapy. This means only patients who respond to platinum-based first-line therapies will go on with the treatment.
AMD will sell microdose assay kits to hospitals/clinics, and undertake sample analysis at their reference laboratory.