Finger with drop of fresh blood
Finger with drop of fresh blood

Patient-centric genomics company DxTerity announced it will collaborate with California-based City or Hope Medical Center on the clinical development of a blood test intended to predict whether patients about to undergo radiation therapy for cancer are likely to benefit from the treatment. The test will also seek to provide information on those patients at risk of developing radiation toxicity.

“Not knowing who will respond to radiation therapy or if they will experience radiation toxicity are on-going barriers to personalizing cancer treatment,” said Professor Yi-Jen Chen, M.D., City of Hope Medical Center and the principal investigator of the trial. The research for this collaboration is being partially funded by the National Cancer Institute.

While oncologists have an ever-widening armament of treatments for cancer treatment, some form of radiation treatment of still used for more than 60 percent of all patients. Of those patients, however, many won’t receive any benefit from the treatment; while roughly another 10 percent will experience radiation toxicity. Accurately identifying these patients would allow doctors to decrease radiation exposure as part of their treatment and potentially to use adjuvant therapies to improvement radiation-therapy response.

The work with City of Hope is a part of DxTerity’s ongoing clinical study to identify genomic markers found in a patient’s blood that can indicate the expected response of a patient to radiation treatment. Dubbed the RADIANT (Radiotherapy Assessments During Intervention ANd Treatment) study, DxTerity is seeking to validate the predictive value of its at-home blood test. RADIANT currently focuses on cancers found in the pelvic region.

In addition to the new collaboration with City of Hope researchers, DxTerity is also enrolling qualified patients nationwide with the following cancers: prostate, colorectal, anal, esophageal, cervical, ovarian, uterine, gall bladder, kidney, stomach, pancreatic, and testicular. The company hopes that the ease of using its at-home blood sample collection kit that employs just a fingerstick, called DxCollect, will encourage broad participation in the study.

The direct-to-patient study model, DxTerity notes, allows the company to remotely access data and information from patients. It employs both physician referrals and direct digital recruiting to enroll eligible patients. According to information on the RADIANT study website, the study integrates “self-reported data, physician engagement, medical records, and blood samples to optimize genomic analysis outcomes.”

In addition to the RADIANT study, DxTerity has concurrent research efforts ongoing in multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. This research is intended to validate the company's testing platform for the monitoring of the diseases and to measure treatment efficacy.

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