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MedGenome launches new blood test for cancer monitoring

(L to R): Dr VL Ramprasad, COO, MedGenome; Sam Santhosh, Founder and Chairman, MedGenome; Dr Kumar Prabhash, Associate Professor, Medical Oncology, TATA Memorial Hospital; Girish Mehta, CEO, MedGenome and Dr Ramakant Krishnaji Deshpande, Vice Chairman, Asian Institute of Oncology, Mumbai.

MedGenome, one of India’s premier genomics-based research and diagnostics companies, has announced the launch of ‘Oncotrack’, a liquid biopsy based non-invasive screening test, to address and better manage cases of cancer in the country.

“Management of cancer will undergo a massive transformation in India with NGS-based liquid biopsies. We are constantly striving to get the most advanced genetic testing technology/technique at affordable prices to the patients and Oncotrack is one such offering,” said Sam Santhosh, Chairman, MedGenome.

India is likely to have over 1.73 million new cases of cancer and over 880,000 deaths due to the disease by 2020. Around 70 per cent of all cancer patients approach the doctor when the disease has advanced, and the chances of cure are very low.

Oncotrack is set to transform the way physicians in India can identify genetic alterations, interpret, assess and treat various forms of cancer.

The test, developed entirely by MedGenome, is the only one to be validated in India and verified from samples of cancer patients from across the country.

The test screens the samples by analysing cell-free DNA that is isolated from the patients’ blood. Using high end sequencing technology, the screening process identifies specific gene mutations that are linked with melanoma, lung and colon cancers.

The test facilitates detection of mutation where there is difficulty of obtaining biopsy or in the event of a damaged biopsy material and non-availability of tissue biopsy. This offers oncologists the power to look for actionable alterations in a patient’s treatment, management, without having to do an invasive biopsy or where biopsy is not an option.

“Liquid biopsy has the capacity to interpret infinite mutations which will pave the way for new drug discovery, research and therapies. Over 35 oncologists in India have already screened patients using our Oncotrack. Further, since it has a very patient friendly approach, we are confident it will be very well accepted by the doctors and patients.” said Dr VL Ramprasad, COO, MedGenome.

Oncotrack is a proven molecular tool after histopathology diagnosis and detecting molecular changes at baseline and at the time of relapse in lung and colon cancer for deciding the right treatment. The test has been validated in a scientific study, in academic collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital’s Dr Kumar Prabhash, a medical oncologist and Dr Amit Dutt, Principal Investigator (Scientist F) at ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre.

“As the care gets more personalised, doctors will be equipped to make correct diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of diseases. Cell free tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis will help in avoiding repeat biopsies of difficult to get tumours and also in monitoring the overall response to treatment on real time basis,” opines Dr Prabhash.

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