05.04.2013 - Austrian and German researchers have presented a blood test to track prostate cancer development.
The new method offers huge benefits to patients who have to be monitored for prostate cancer recurrence by providing a less invasive approach than the currently used biopsies. Instead, study chiefs Jochen Geigl and Michael Speicher from Medical University of Graz and the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, took blood samples, isolated the patient’s DNA and analysed it using an Illumina benchtop sequencer.
Genomic signatures displayed abnormal copy numbers of specific genetic markers, which indicated resistance against hormone deprivation therapy, the most common form of treatment in men with metastatic prostate cancer. Although being a small scale study including only 25 patients the presence of prostate cancer was flagged by copy number mistakes in sequences such as NCOA2, PHLPP1 and TMPRSS2-ERG. As expected each person's cancer signature was slightly different, however patients whose cancer did not respond to castration all had increased copy numbers of genes for the androgen receptor (AR).
According to the researchers, "the simplicity and low cost of such liquid biopsies make these genetic tests an attractive alternative to traditional biopsies. Better genetic information resulting from these tests may also help target treatment, especially of castration-resistant prostate cancer and aid personalised therapy in the clinic." Two years ago, Swiss researchers had presented a blood test detecting protein biomarkers to track prostate cancer. However, Next-Generation Sequencing is much faster and cheaper.
27.07.2016 In view of the Brexit, research academies across Britain are calling for a “bold commitment” from the government. The Royal Society President urges the UK government to underwrite the research of British scientists applying for EU funding.
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19.07.2016 It is Europe’s first gene therapy company to float on Euronext: Gensight raised €40m in its IPO. And it is not the only French company that has taken the leap in an uncertain market climate – Alzheimer’s expert Pharnext also went public.
18.07.2016 When NASA blasted off to the International Space Station on Monday morning, it had UK tech on board. A miniature DNA sequencer from Oxford Nanopore will be used to keep an eye on the ISS atmosphere – and may even analyse alien DNA one day.
13.07.2016 Cell Medica has acquired Swiss antibody specialist Delenex Therapeutics. The deal nets the British cellular therapeutics developer Delenex’ proprietory antibody fragment platform Pentrabody.
12.07.2016 Vienna-based vaccine specialist Themis Bioscience GmbH has secured broad access to a promising virus vaccine vector tech by extending its license agreement with French Institut Pasteur. Its goal: to develop a Zika vaccine.
07.07.2016 Californian biopharma Medivation has agreed to confidential negotiations with its suitors, in particular the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, which aggressively has buffeted the cancer therapy specialist for months.
06.07.2016 The European Commission started an investigation into Illumina’s and Sequenom’s 2014 patent agreement, UK-competitor Premaitha Health said. The two US companies had agreed to pool their Noninvasive Prenatal Testing IP.
04.07.2016 Cinfa Biotech is shuffling for position on the lucrative biosimilar market. The Spanish-German company has published positive results in a study for a pegfilgrastim copycat with 172 healthy volunteers in Germany.
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