EpiRespond® – a novel DNA-methylation-based companion diagnostic biomarker tests to tailor breast cancer patients to systemic chemo- or endocrine therapy.
In personalized medicine, predictive biomarkers and accompanying laboratorytests (companion diagnostics) are tools being used to test efficacy and safety of a drug specific to a targeted patient group. In cancer therapy, major challenges are to predict whether a patient will respond to standard of care (or another alternative treatment option should be recommended).
In women, breast cancer is the most common malignancy worldwide. In the Western world every 8th woman will get breast cancer of which almost half of women will die of this disease, despite improved screening, surgery, and treatment options. In Europe alone, every year 464,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The bad news is that the incidence for breast cancer will significantly increase; according to the World Health Organization (WHO) almost 50 % more cases will be reported in 2025.
Today, the so-called personalized medicine aims at identifying patients who will benefit from a specific therapy, which patients require additional therapy or which patients do not require a therapy or an alternative therapy than standard of care. Even though a variety of targeted drugs to treat breast cancer patients with systemic adjuvant therapy are available, there is still a high medical need to individualize therapy of breast cancer patients to improve overall survival and quality of life. There is no “one fits all” approach.
The new EpiRespond®-Test will help to optimize pre- and post-surgical treatment of breast cancer patients. The benefit for patients is obvious:
to precisely identify those patients who will benefit of chemo- and endocrine therapy and
patients not suited for that kind of therapy may be offered alternative ways of treatment.