FDA's Approval of Blood Test for Cancer Detection
- The FDA has approved a liquid biopsy blood test which examines patients with advanced tumors, and match them with suited targeted therapies.
- This liquid biopsy is valuable for patients because it doesn’t require additional biopsies, such as a tissue sample.
- The data and science on this subject is continuously evolving.
“We use blood tests called liquid biopsies to look through the blood of patients with cancer to identify mutations in their DNA that we can treat,” Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard, who previously spoke to SurvivorNet as a former thoracic oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer, but now is Vice President of Global Medical Lead at Foundation Medicine. “But we aren’t asking ‘is cancer present?’ We’re asking instead, ‘Ok, this person is known to have cancer – what are the characteristics of that cancer? So we look for mutations – for example, EGFR or BRAF in lung cancer – and those blood tests tell us to use for a certain kind of targeted therapy.”Read More
Foundation Medicine announced in a press release that the (FDA) has approved FoundationOne®Liquid CDx, a tumor liquid biopsy test, which can analyze over 300 genes linked to cancer through a simple blood test. From there, this information helps inform researchers as to what targeted therapies are best suited for each genetic sequence — creating more precise treatment without the need for additional biopsies such as tissue samples.
Foundation One Blood Test vs. Traditional Biopsy
What makes this test so valuable for patients is that it allows physicians to assess the tumor for treatment options rather than take additional biopsies.
“With a blood test like this, it is really important that this effort to design and validate this test is rigorous,” Dr. Oxnard previously explained to SurvivorNet. “We’re going through them to make this a really robust effort, so that the results can be believable.”