Healthcare Industry News: skin cancer
News Release - March 22, 2006
ChondroGene reports on blood-based prostate cancer diagnostic test developmentTORONTO, March 22 (HSMN NewsFeed) - ChondroGene Limited (TSX Venture: CDG ) today reported on the progress of its ProstateSentry(TM) blood-based prostate cancer detection test. Results from the ProstateSentry test done with a simple blood sample in combination with measured PSA levels, differentiate aggressive forms of prostate cancer in patients in need of curative therapy. The test was developed using the Company's proprietary Sentinel Principle(TM) technology which is capable of readily identifying blood biomarkers for virtually any disease or medical condition. The set of genes used in the ProstateSentry test were identified using the Company's proprietary biomarker discovery process.
Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer affecting men in the US and the third leading cause of cancer death after lung and colon cancer. Current methods of screening include measurement of prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood levels and the digital rectal exam (DRE) with prostate biopsies being employed following positive screening results. Some forms of prostate cancer are slow growing and no surgical intervention is employed. Some forms, however, are aggressive and spread rapidly. Patients with this form are treated aggressively with surgery, radiation or hormone therapy. The ability to differentiate aggressive and non-aggressive forms of prostate cancer at an early stage should lead to more rational patient management and thus better outcomes.
Prostate cancer is scored using a grading system developed by Dr. Donald Gleason in 1974 that measures prostate tumour aggressiveness. The Gleason score ranges between 2 and 10, with 10 being the most aggressive form of prostate cancer. Most experts would agree that any cancer with a Gleason score of 7 or above has a high probability of spreading, leading to mortality and therefore should be treated aggressively.
To date, the Company has collected over 500 blood samples in North America and Asia from patients with elevated PSA levels, who have also undergone prostate biopsy and Gleason scoring. ChondroGene has used these samples to identify blood-based biomarker sets that will form the basis of molecular diagnostic tests for the detection of aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
In one study, ChondroGene used a four gene biomarker set, in combination with PSA levels, to identify patients with aggressive forms of prostate cancer. The test was able to discriminate patients with prostate cancer having Gleason scores greater than 7 from controls with sensitivities greater than 90%. The Company is accruing additional blood samples from patients with prostate cancer. The continued accruals will enable the Company to further validate these initial biomarker sets with blinded studies prior to formal development of a molecular diagnostic kit.
"We, as well as our collaborators, are very encouraged by the preliminary results of the ProstateSentry test. This is our second cancer test development effort after our lead product, ColonSentry(TM), for the detection of colon cancer and pre-cancerous polyps," stated K. Wayne Marshall, MD, PhD, President and CEO of ChondroGene. "ChondroGene's proprietary biomarker discovery process is a powerful tool for identifying and validating biomarkers from a simple blood sample. This platform technology, based on our Sentinel Principle, is a rapid and economical method for generating biomarker content across a broad range of clinical questions and disease areas. Our process provides the foundation for ChondroGene's evolving line of molecular diagnostic products and enables ChondroGene to be a provider of biomarker content to the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries."
About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 234,460 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2006. About 27,350 men will die of this disease. Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in men, after lung and colon cancer. In Canada, approximately 20,500 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer annually and 4,300 will die of it. On average, 394 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and on average, 83 Canadian men will die of prostate cancer every week.
ChondroGene is focussed on the application of functional genomics to enable early diagnosis and personalized therapeutic intervention based on disease-specific biomarkers. The Company has developed a novel approach, the Sentinel Principle, to detect and stage virtually any disease or medical condition from a simple blood sample. ChondroGene is currently applying the Sentinel Principle in major areas with unmet clinical needs such as cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders. For more information on ChondroGene, visit www.chondrogene.com.
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