A new genetic markers diagnostics test, being released under the band name DecisionDx-Mesothelioma, may be available to physicians as early as the 3rd quarter of this year. This test was created and tested at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, located in Boston, Massachusetts. The DecisionDx-Mesothelioma test has been designed to detect a specific set of genes in patients who are suspected of having Mesothelioma. The gene profile will help provide doctors with a better picture of whether or not the respiratory symptoms the patient is suffering from are related to Mesothelioma.
The symptoms of Mesothelioma easily mimic the symptoms of other respiratory conditions. Thus, symptomology alone makes it difficult to diagnose this aggressive cancer. The symptoms can include chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath. Often times, the physical symptoms do not even present themselves in patients with Mesothelioma until the later stages of the disease.
Castle Biosciences has acquired the technology and intellectual property rights of this genetics marker test developed by Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Castle Biosciences is a Texas based company that specializes in these types of molecular genetic diagnostic tests, which are used to diagnose rare cancers. Castle Biosciences currently has three diagnostic tests of this type. These are used by physicians to assist in diagnosing thyoma, uveal melanoma (eye cancer), and glioblastoma and gliomas (brain cancer).
Mesothelioma is typically difficult to diagnose because of its location and symptomology. It usually takes a combination of medical history, asbestos history, physical examination, imaging, and biopsies to diagnose Mesothelioma. The DecisionDx-Mesothelioma test could help diagnosticians locate genetic biomarkers linked to this aggressive cancer. This test may also be able to be used to predict the survival rates of patients who will be undergoing resection surgery.
According to Dr. Raphael Bueno, the Chief of Thoracic Surgery with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, this molecular test can be used with other clinical parameters to assist with identifying patients who are likely to benefit from aggressive Mesothelioma surgery. This new diagnostic test will also help physicians develop an adequate treatment plan, which is essential to increase the likelihood of success and a good prognosis.
Castle Biosciences is in the process of validating the new test based on federal regulatory standards, as well as the standards put forth by the College of American Pathologists and CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments). Upon completion of the testing process, Castle Biosciences hopes to release this new diagnostics tool for Mesothelioma during the third quarter of 2012.