More treatment or just surgery? This a question many physicians face when determining treatment for lung cancer patients. A new clinical study launched by the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI), Drs. Ramaswamy Govindan and Daniel Morgensztern, and Inivata hopes to help answer that question in patients with early non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The study will use Inivata’s InVision liquid biopsy platform to locate and test circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in patients’ blood samples. Researchers hope the study will identify which patients with early non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have been successfully treated with surgery alone and which patients require more treatment.
“ALCF is proud of our role in bringing together these distinguished individuals and institutions for this important project,” said David LeDuc, ALCF Executive Director. “As a patient focused advocacy organization, one of our main goals is to help advance treatment options, technologies and diagnostic tools that directly benefit patients. This collaboration is a great example of how we utilize our network to find partners with a common mission and to drive the change needed to make lung cancer a chronically-managed disease.”
How it works
Until now, an invasive surgical biopsy was the only way to learn about a tumor’s genetic markers and proteins. In some patients with lung cancer, doctors can’t perform tissue biopsies because of the tumor location or the risk of serious side effects, such as a collapsed lung. Also, because tumor cells can be different even within small tumors, surgical biopsies must remove enough tissue for thorough testing, and the pathologist examining the tumor tissue need to be able to test cells from different parts of the tumor. In addition, tumor cells change when patients go through treatment, requiring repeated surgical biopsies that many patients cannot tolerate.
With liquid biopsies, patients only undergo a simple blood test. When cancer is present, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), genetic material shed from tumors, enters the bloodstream. Inivata’s InVision platform detects and identifies this tumor material.
“We will test patients with early-stage NSCLC before surgery and up to five years after surgery,” said Ramaswamy Govindan, MD, an oncologist and professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “We also hope to study the utility of ctDNA testing for detecting early signs of recurrence.”
Why it matters
“Studies like this are imperative for lung cancer management as they allow us to have much greater access to important genomic information that will drive more informed treatment decisions,” said Professor Clive Morris, chief medical officer of Inivata.
Tony Addario, Chair and CEO of ALCMI added, “Providing the ability to identify if and when a change to a patient’s current treatment regimen might be appropriate holds great promise for improving treatment for lung cancer patients. The field of liquid biopsy, and ctDNA analysis specifically, is undergoing rapid development, and we’re only now beginning to see the potential of what we may be able to achieve.”
How you can help
“Patients are our most important partners in clinical research,” said Bonnie J. Addario, founder and CEO of the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF). “We need more patients to participate in studies like this one to advance our understanding of lung cancer so that we can develop better treatments. Patients are key to improving treatment options, and ultimately finding a cure for lung cancer.”
The LIBERTI (Liquid Biopsy in Early Stage NSCLC Resected Lung Tumor Investigation) study will recruit up to 500 patients from eight ALCMI member institutions in the U.S. The study is currently open to enrollment at Washington University in St. Louis and Northside Hospital in Atlanta. ALCMI has plans to add more sites to the trial. For more information, please contact Nurse Alicia at 203-768-9733.