A woman with lung cancer got EGFR mutation results in 48 hours, and tumour regression by Day 3 with Swagene’s innovations.
Lung cancer (adenocarcinoma of the lung) is dominated by EGFR mutations especially in Asians. The majority of patients who are EGFR mutation positive for lung cancer respond rapidly to anti-EGFR treatment, gefitinib or erlotinib, and several second generation drugs. These tyrosine kinase inhibitors specifically target the EGFR pathway and inhibit its tyrosine kinase activity leading to rapid response rate and dramatic improvement in survival.
This has been in practice for a while, so what’s new? The biggest difficulty with lung cancer is doing a biopsy to obtain adequate tumour sample for testing. At Swagene, we have innovated a proprietary sample formulation, an ethanol-based stabilizer for immediate preservation and rapid testing of core biopsy samples after pathology. Core biopsy being preferred for the lung, this makes sampling very convenient for the doctor and patient. Whereas traditional formalin fixation takes 7-10 days before it can be shipped to the lab for testing and formalin leading to DNA shredding, Swagene’s novel formulation enables storage and transportation at ambient temperature as it fixes and preserves the structure of DNA. Thus the results can be obtained much sooner with greater accuracy and precision.
Further, we have also innovated on the testing protocols to yield results in a couple of days. Most labs take 7-14 days or 2-4 weeks to report results. Altogether, obtaining lab test results alone takes almost a month before treatment can be initiated.
We got a sample of a 64-year old female with adenocarcinoma of the right lung, and the sample was shipped to our lab. Within 48 hours, we reported the presence of a classic EGFR mutation in exon 21. Anti-EGFR therapy was immediately started, and by Day 3 the tumour had significantly regressed in size.
While blood-based (liquid biopsy) testing is being marketed for diagnosis, these are usually riddled with high false-negative rates, meaning a lot of patients will go with wrong results and without the appropriate treatment. Liquid biopsy may be used as a monitoring tool in some patients, and not as a diagnostic tool. Moreover, when only classic EGFR mutations respond to TKI therapy, and other mutations are not actionable, you want to use a more accurate and sensitive method like PCR.
If you’re a doctor, lab, hospital or patient, you can call us at +91 44 4201 4700 to start using Swagene’s proprietary formulation for collecting and shipping samples to our lab. We can assure you of the shortest turnaround times in the industry globally, so you can get on with your treatment decisions and your core specialty of saving lives!