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New Molecular Diagnostic Test Predicts Progression of Barrett's Esophagus to Esophageal Cancer

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Key Points

  • While only about 0.5% of Barrett's esophagus patients will develop esophageal cancer, the 5-year survival rate of esophageal cancer ranges from 4% to 40%.
  • BarreGen utilizes an assay that assesses loss of heterozygosity and genetic mutations of multiple tumor-suppressor genes.
  • A longitudinal study shows the BarreGen test had an overall accuracy of 95% in identifying patients who progressed to cancer from those who did not.

Interpace Diagnostics, a subsidiary of PDI, Inc, announced new data demonstrating the clinical value of BarreGen, a molecular diagnostic test that predicts the risk of progression from Barrett’s esophagus to esophageal cancer approximately 3 to 4 years before the cancer develops. These results were presented during Digestive Disease Week, May 16–19, 2015, in Washington, DC.

While only about 0.5% of Barrett's esophagus patients will develop esophageal cancer, once diagnosed, the prognosis is poor. The 5-year survival rate of esophageal cancer ranges from 4­% to 40%, depending on the stage of the cancer at the time of detection.

The BarreGen test utilizes the PathFinderTG platform, a proven assay used in PancraGen to help assess cancer risk in pancreatic cysts. The PathFinderTG platform assesses loss of heterozygosity and genetic mutations of multiple tumor-suppressor genes. BarreGen describes this genomic instability information as the “mutational load,” enabling physicians to more accurately stratify patients with Barrett’s esophagus for risk of progression to esophageal cancer.

Longitudinal Study

Data from a case-control longitudinal study in 69 patients with Barrett’s esophagus demonstrated that BarreGen helps differentiate patients at high risk of progression to cancer from those at low risk—well before observable changes in the cells. Study results showed the BarreGen test had an overall accuracy of 95% in identifying patients who progressed to cancer from those who did not.

“We are excited about the BarreGen data and its potential as it advances physicians’ ability to identify patients at high risk for developing esophageal cancer years before it occurs. This can allow for more personalized patient management strategies and earlier intervention aimed at reducing progression to cancer,” said Nancy Lurker, CEO of PDI.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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