Blood test for lung cancer

Credit: Fernando Zhiminaicela (Pixabay)

Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Detecting DNA mutations in tumours can help with deciding choice of therapy, particularly if the mutations can be targeted directly with drugs. However, limited access to lung tumour material, both before and during treatment, can make this approach challenging.

Cambridge researchers invented a blood test (liquid-biopsy) that detects mutant tumour DNA circulating in the blood of patients with non-small cell lung cancer. This test was further developed into the InVisionFirst®-Lung Liquid Biopsy (IVFL) platform through Inivata Ltd, a spin-out company launched by the researchers. It is now being used in routine clinical practice and is Medicare reimbursed in the USA. In June 2021, Inivata was acquired by NeoGenomics, Inc Group.

“This test in fact triggered a change in therapy, which gave me almost 18 months of progression free survival until my cancer was mutated again. The liquid biopsies give me visibility, we’re not guessing anymore and can make an informed decision.”

– First patient to receive treatment based on IVFL results