Strand unveils liquid biopsy test to detect cancer

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Bengaluru, April 11 (IANS) Leading Indian bioinformatics firm Strand Life Sciences on Tuesday unveiled a liquid biopsy test to detect cancer from a blood sample for effective monitoring and treatment of the dreaded disease.

“As a minimal-invasive tool, our liquid biopsy test can precisely detect early presence of cancer or tumour, its recurrence and response to therapy, more than conventional diagnostic methods,” said Strand Chairman and Managing Director Vijay Chandru here on the occasion.

Touted to be the first of its kind to be developed in India, the Strand LB (Liquid Biopsy) test allows early assessment of the disease without radioactive scans.

“Typically, tumours are assessed through invasive tumour biopsies or radioactive scans, whereas liquid biopsy is a paradigm shift that involves a minimally-invasive procedure to detect tumour DNA traces from a sample blood draw,” Chandru told reporters at a preview of the diagnostic tool.

Developed in two years by Strand scientists in collaboration with the Mazumdar Shaw Centre for Translational Research here, the LB tests were validated by clinicians at the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, which was set up by Chairperson of biotech major Biocon Ltd Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

“The tests were conducted on 125 patients aged 50 years, including 30 women with symptoms of breast cancer and other types of cancer by taking their blood samples, analysing them to detect tumours and monitoring them for treatment,” asserted Chandru.

Unveiling the ground-breaking method, Shaw said the Strand LB helps monitor lung, breast, colorectal and other types of cancer for tumour presence, response and recurrence.

“Innovation like Stand’s LB is a major breakthrough in cancer detection and management in healthcare, as it can reduce the non-communicable disease burden in the country and make cancer detection and treatment affordable,” she said.

“An LB test would cost Rs 20,000 in India against Rs 2 lakh in the developed countries and less than a PET-CT scan, which costs Rs 25,000,” Shaw added.

“The cutting-edge technology will play a central role in affordable cancer care as it fosters early detection,” Shaw reiterated.

The study of patients with a variety of cancer types showed that LB can detect tumour DNA traces in 35 per cent of them with early-stage cancer, going up to 70-90 per cent in those with locally advanced or metastatic cancer, Chandru said.

“The liquid biopsy test provides the same information as a solid biopsy, identifies the genetic signature of a patient’s cancer and helps to create a personalised treatment plan for each patient,” said Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre Heme-Oncologist and Clinical Director Sharat Damodar.

–IANS

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