Bio-analytic healthcare provider Invitrocue (ASX: IVQ), has advanced its proprietary cancer-detection test by screening its first commercial Onco-PDO customer in Singapore.
The Onco-PDO is a breakthrough technology which tests for the indication of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is on the rise in Australia, especially among millennials, according to several recent studies.
Invitrocue’s Onco-PDO test provides an overview of how a patient’s cancer cells respond to different standard of care chemotherapies, ranking these therapeutics based on their effectiveness in delivering a positive response.
This approach allows oncologists to develop better-informed and more personalised treatment strategies for patients.
According to Invitrocue, it has identified “key medical channel partners” for Singapore in consultation with oncologists, and will also be receiving patients from Hong Kong who are looking to utilise the Onco-PDO platform.
Its first commercial screening is potentially a sign of things to come in the Asia Pacific region and validates the effectiveness of Onco-PDO in a real-world testing environment.
All clinical work to offer Onco-PDO services is being carried out at the joint laboratory established last year between the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and Invitrocue, which is located at A*STAR, the Singapore government’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
A sombre picture
Research published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed rates of colon cancer among people aged 20 to 39 were on the rise in both men and women.
According to a previous study, adults born in 1990 could have twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer at the same age had they been born in 1950.
Such research indicates that in many respects, “modern” living is having a detrimental impact on the health and well-being of society as a whole, especially younger generations.
Further afield in the US, colorectal cancer, which includes both colon and rectal cancers, is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the country and the second leading cause in men.
The latest sombre statistics come from the American Cancer Society, which estimates that in 2018 there will be more than 50,000 deaths in the US, from this type of cancer alone.
Globally, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International, with about “two-thirds of colorectal cancer cases occurring in countries characterised by high or very high indices of development and/or income”.
In other words, a colorectal cancer is a disease that occurs in far greater quantities in richer countries such as Australia, the US, Europe and Japan, as opposed to less economically-developed countries from Africa, South America and Asia.
“We are incredibly excited to have screened our first patient in Singapore against the Onco-PDO drug sensitivity test, and are encouraged by the response and interest so far from both local and international oncologists in using this technology with their patients to better inform their decision making process when dealing with a variety of cancer types,” said Dr Steven Fang, chief executive officer of Invitrocue.
“We look forward to updating the market on our progress as we continue to commercialise our platform both in Singapore and globally,” added Dr Fang.