Angle’s Parsortix has demonstrated the potential to out-perform current standard of care in the detection and assessment of prostate cancer, in a new study undertaken in the early stage of the disease.
Currently, investigation of symptoms for prostate cancer is typically made via a blood test measuring prostate specific antigen protein levels in the blood. If the PSA level is above a threshold level, then the patient will be subjected to a tissue biopsy of the prostate gland.
This method, however, is invasive and carries a risk of potentially fatal infection. It can also be inaccurate and misses the presence of cancer in around 20% of cases as it only samples a small fraction of the prostate gland.
It also has a “notoriously” low specificity - high false positives - with about 75% of all PSA positive results ending up with negative biopsies that do not find cancer.
In comparison, Angle found that the Parsortix based test in the study showed a dramatically higher performance with 93% of Parsortix positive results yielding a malignant tissue biopsy, which is extremely high bearing in mind the tissue biopsy has its own limitations in missing cancers.
The data also suggest that if a combined Parsortix and PSA approach was adopted to determine which patients should have tissue biopsies, a “substantial proportion” of unnecessary biopsies could be eliminated without missing any clinically significant prostate cancer cases.
Dr Yong-Jie Lu, Professor in Molecular Oncology at Barts Cancer Institute, said that in the study the company has “developed protocols using the Parsortix liquid biopsy system to detect CTCs in early stage prostate cancer and have shown its potential in avoiding unnecessary prostate biopsies, allowing resources to be focused on men with clinically significant prostate cancer,” going on to say that it “would improve the diagnostic pathways/procedures for patients as well as reducing healthcare costs.”
The company said that further studies will be needed to develop and validate a Parsortix test in this area, which offers a market potential for Angle estimated to be in excess of US $3 billion per annum globally.