Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx), a company that provides advanced cancer genome analysis, recently announced they will provide their technology to a Precision Oncology Program (POP) for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England Veteran’s Integrated Service Network (VISN 1).
The company’s CancerSelect gene device will be used in patients that just had their cancer diagnosed. The device is able to detect changes in 88 specific genes, including targets for which there are drugs either available or in investigational stages.
The Department of Veterans Affairs VISN 1 is running the POP with the aim of helping to gather data of all patients attending VISN 1 hospitals that have been diagnosed with lung cancer. The objective is to provide specialized care to veterans and to develop and validate cancer biomarkers. POP will be evaluated with measures for clinical outcomes in veterans with cancer.
Jeffrey Boschwitz, PhD, Chief Operating Officer at PGDx, commented in a recent news release, “We are honored that the VA’s VISN 1 has selected PGDx to provide targeted DNA profiling for the Precision Oncology Program, and applaud its leadership in this field that is rapidly transforming the treatment of cancer. We specifically designed our CancerSelect panel to have unsurpassed sensitivity and specificity while maintaining its cost-effectiveness, so that it can be available to patients in a range of healthcare settings, including programs such as POP. We welcome the opportunity to support this innovative program and the veterans it serves.”
At the moment, POP will focus on patients with a recent non-small cell lung cancer diagnosis that are under care at the New England Veterans Integrated Service Network. However, the plan is to test this approach in all hospitals serving VA nationwide.
Conversely to other cancer tests that are only able to identify point mutations, CancerSelect utilizes innovative sequencing technology and is able to identify somatic mutations, detect focal amplifications, and identify translocations in the genes with the greatest potential to impact treatment decisions.
PGDx’s proprietary bioinformatics pipeline allows the device to keep high specificity and sensitivity at mutant allele frequencies as low as 2%, lower than any other test available in the market.