Preliminary Data Shows Nasal Swab Detects Early Lung Cancer

Preliminary Data Shows Nasal Swab Detects Early Lung Cancer
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Genomic Diagnostics company Veracyte announced at the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) annual meeting in New Orleans, that preliminary data indicates its nasal swab genomic test accurately classifies lung cancer risk in patients with lung nodules, which can stratify those needing immediate treatment from those patients whose risk needs to simply be monitored.

“Today, when a potentially malignant lung nodule is found, physicians lack accurate and reliable tools to determine which patients require more invasive diagnostic evaluation and those who can be managed with noninvasive surveillance,” said Carla R. Lamb, M.D., interventional pulmonologist at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, in Burlington, Mass., and the PI on the nasal classifier study. “Given the nasal classifier’s ability to more accurately classify cancer risk in patients with lung nodules, the test can help address this diagnostic gap.”

Under current practice, physicians use clinical factors—which can vary widely—to calculate the risk of cancer when a lung nodule is found. In some cases this method has been shown to be less accurate than a physician’s judgment. In the current study the data showed that the nasal swab test would identify 70% more patients as “low risk” and 18% more patients as “high risk,” as compared to one of the most widely used clinical risk calculators.

In the current study, Veracyte prospectively recruited more than 700 patients with lung noduleswhose cancer status was subsequently determined that were detected by computed tomography (CT) scans. The team evaluated the test on an independent blinded subset of 261 patients from the original patients identified. Preliminary results showed the test was able to identify those both at high risk and low risk for cancer.

For the group of patients whose nodules were benign, the genomic test classified more than 40% as low risk for cancer, with a sensitivity of over 95 percent. The test classified more than 40% as high risk for cancer, with a specificity of over 94 percent, for those patients whose nodules were malignant. These results indicate the test could better guide those patients for additional diagnostics and treatment.

“Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer worldwide,” said Bonnie H. Anderson, Veracyte’s chairman and CEO in a press release. “We are very encouraged by these preliminary data, which suggest that our nasal swab test has the potential to transform how this disease is diagnosed, enabling lung cancer patients to get the treatment they need sooner, while helping patients with benign nodules avoid unnecessary and costly invasive procedures.”

The preliminary results of the nasal swab test are the first data released from a collaboration Veracyte entered in January this year with Johnson & Johnson’s Lung Cancer Initiative to evaluate the nasal swab test. Also announced in January as part of the collaboration was the commercialization of the company’s Percepta classifier on the company’s RNA whole-transcriptome sequencing platform. The next-generation version of the Percepta test for lung cancer diagnosis was launched in late June.