Clinical Trial Finds Personalized Cancer Cytometrics More Accurate than Molecular Gene Testing

In the only head-to-head clinical trial comparing gene expression patterns with Personalized Cancer Cytometric testing (also known as “functional tumor cell profiling” or “chemosensitivity testing”), Personalized Cancer Cytometrics was found to be substantially more accurate. 

In a clinical trial involving ovarian cancer patients, patterns of gene expression identified through molecular gene testing were compared with results of Personalized Cancer Cytometric testing (in which whole, living cancer cells are exposed to candidate chemotherapy drugs).   Four different genes were included in the molecular part of the study.  The four genes were selected as those which researchers believed to have the greatest likelihood of accurately predicting individual patient response to specific anti-cancer drugs.

Study Results:  For two of the genes studied, there was no significant correlation between gene expression pattern and patient response.  In other words, results for these genes were found to be meaningless.  For the third gene studied, there was a 75% correlation between expression and patient response.  This means that expression of that particular gene was 75% accurate when it came to identifying an active drug for that patient.  For the fourth gene studied, the accuracy in identifying an active drug was only 25%.   In marked contrast - and in the same study - Personalized Cancer Cytometric testing was found by the researchers to be 90% accurate in identifying active drugs for ovarian cancer patients.

Discussion: Molecular testing – that is, testing for gene expression patterns – is widely studied and heavily promoted as a method to identify effective chemotherapy drugs for individual cancer patients.  However, most studies of molecular testing carried-out to date show only modest correlation or no correlation between test results and actual patient response.  Much work remains to be done before molecular gene testing can be regarded as an accurate tool for chemotherapy selection.  And yet in this, first ever, head-to-head study of test accuracy, Personalized Cancer Cytometrics was found to be highly accurate when it came to identifying effective drugs.

Comparing this study with previous studies:  Although this was the first head-to-head trial, the level of predictive accuracy found in this trial for Personalized Cancer Cytometric testing is strikingly consistent with that documented in dozens of previous studies published by respected cancer researchers around the world.  In those studies, as in this one, extremely high levels of correlation (in other words, high levels of test accuracy) were found for Personalized Cancer Cytometrics.

Journal Reference and Link to the Study:

Arienti et al. Peritoneal carcinomatosis from ovarian cancer: chemosensitivity test and tissue markers as predictors of response to chemotherapy. Journal of Translational Medicine 2011, 9:94.