New options for diagnosing lung cancer

Tuesday April 12, 2022 at 12:35 pm

Researchers are constantly exploring new options to detect lung cancer. In a recent effort, this is done by using liquid biopsies. These liquid biopsies are obtained from a blood test with the added advantages, including detecting genes responsible for cancer predisposition and drug metabolism. According to the researchers, this test will allow dynamic monitoring of lung cancer treatment resistance and efficacy. The study was beings facilitated by the Global Cancer Consortium.

Global Cancer Consortium was formed in 2020.

Dr. Mahadev Rao is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and the founding faculty of the Global Cancer Consortium. He, along with his team of researchers in collaboration with some scientists from the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, has indicated that the use of liquid biopsy is a simple blood test. It is widely being used to help detect and treat lung cancer. It was designed to detect cancer cells or DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) fragments from cancer cells that circulate in a person’s bloodstream.

The researchers have published an invited review article titled, ‘Integration of liquid biopsy and pharmacogenomics for precision therapy of EGFR mutant and resistant lung cancers’ in the famous Molecular Cancer Journal. This paper explored new options for diagnosing lung cancer.

In India, lung cancer now constitutes 6.9 percent of all noval cancer cases and 9.3 percent of total cancer-related deaths in men and women. It is the most common form of cancer and a leading cause of cancer-related mortality in men, with the highest reported incidences occurring in Mizoram in both men and women. In fact, among men, the lung, mouth, esophagus, and stomach were the most likely organs to get cancer.

Tumor biopsies are currently the most usually used diagnostic tool for lung cancer. However, this paper discusses the enormous potential of liquid biopsies obtained from a simple blood sample to replace tumor biopsies which require patients to undergo a surgical procedure.

Along with Dr. Rao, this potentially powerful paper was jointly published with a team com Jill Kolesar, who holds a Pharm D degree and is the director, Professor in the UK College of Pharmacy, co-chair of the Molecular Tumor Board for the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and Precision Medicine Center. Another team member is Dr. Vivek Rangnekar, associate director of Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, and Global Cancer Consortium founding chair. The published paper also had contents provided by a multidisciplinary team of researchers, oncologists, clinical pharmacists, and basic scientists from the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). Global Cancer Consortium encourages partnerships in global cancer research, education, and outreach programs.

Dr. M D Venkatesh is the Vice-Chancellor at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education

(MAHE). He observed that the Global Cancer Consortium had initiated this collaborative transnational cutting edge research to develop next-generation scientists and promote cancer health care. It has produced several high-quality joint research publications.

According to Dr. Rao, these liquid biopsies obtained from a blood test also provide added advantages, including detecting genes responsible for cancer predisposition in the patient and drug metabolism. Moreover, they are minimally invasive, have reduced procedural complications, and allow dynamic lung cancer treatment resistance and efficacy monitoring. Integrating liquid biopsies into cancer care and research can provide enhanced personalized cancer care by helping in selecting the right drug in precise doses, identifying the population-level genomic landscapes, developing new drug molecules, and reducing the cost burden for cancer patients.