SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Just as it does with treatments, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) offers detailed guidelines on genomic testing by cancer type. These are key in determining what physicians can prescribe routinely and what insurers will cover. But those guidelines aren’t followed regularly outside a major research hospital setting, thereby obviating access to tumor genetic information that could help to better guide treatment. Even if current guidelines are followed, physicians and patients can get information back from the tests that neither party is prepared to process.
Nearly 70% of men with locally recurrent prostate cancer who received radiation therapy initially could delay androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for at least five years following stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with Accuray Inc.’s Cyberknife system, according to a study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics.
Unlike with other kinds of cancer, there’s no opportunity for a biopsy ahead of surgery for a suspected brain tumor. To help matters, researchers have developed a novel approach that combines a new, commercially available imaging technology – stimulated Raman histology (SRH) – with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to offer a diagnosis of brain tumors in just a couple of minutes. They published the results of a study in the Jan. 6, 2020, issue of Nature Medicine that determined their approach was noninferior to standard pathologist interpretation of histologic images.
Novocure Ltd. of St. Helier, Jersey, released preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 results, showing strong momentum with its tumor treating fields (TTF) technology, a noninvasive, antimitotic therapy delivered via the Optune device. Q4 revenue is expected to hit $99.2 million, up 42% from $69.7 million in the same period last year, with anticipated full-year revenue of $351.3 million, also up 42%. In the U.S., net revenues grew 49% to $65.9 million in the last financial quarter.
HONG KONG – South Korean med tech Olive Healthcare Inc. has attracted ₩8 billion (US$6.91 million) in series B funding. The Seoul-based company is focused on abdominal fat scanning and breast cancer diagnosis, using nonradiative and noninvasive near infrared (NIR) technology, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, and big data processing for a customized medical service.
SAN FRANCISCO – Guardant Health Inc. has set the standard for liquid biopsy. That success has catapulted the Redwood City, Calif.-based company from an IPO in the fall of 2018 to a current valuation in excess of $7 billion. It has made its name – and much of its revenue – with its Guardant360 test, a molecular diagnostic test that assesses 74 cancer-related genes from the circulating tumor DNA to aid in designing the best treatment for advanced cancer patients with solid tumors.
HONG KONG – South Korean-based med-tech Lunit Inc., of Seoul, has secured ₩30 billion (US$25.6 million) in series C funding. Founded in 2013, the Korean company has raised $50 million so far. Lunit’s corporate value was evaluated at as much as ₩200 billion as of the fundraising.
Researchers at the Riken Center for Advanced Intelligence Project in Japan developed artificial intelligence (AI) technology that found previously unknown features related to prostate cancer occurrence in unannotated pathology images.
Caesarea, Israel-based Icecure Medical Ltd. has won the FDA’s nod for additional indications for its cryoablation technology, paving the way for use in kidney, liver, ear, nose and throat and new neurology indications. The agency also cleared Icecure’s new Multisense system.
A mitochondrial glutamine transporter variant of the SLC1A5 gene is a key regulator of glutamine metabolism and metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells, and targeting such transporters could be a new strategy for controlling tumor growth, Korean researchers reported online in the Dec. 19, 2019, edition of Cell Metabolism.