Each cancer has a different combination of mutations in its DNA. This is what makes a tumour unique.
Biomarker testing help to establish, what we could call, the fingerprinting of a cancer.
There are several types of DNA mutations: single nucleotide variant (SNV), deletion or insertion of DNA nucleotides (indel), fusion of two DNA fragments to create an oncogene, and the amplification (copy/paste) of a same fragment of DNA (CNV). All these mutations can be detected by OncoDNA biomarker tests.
In addition to DNA mutations, a tumour may also show many surface proteins that could help identify the best therapy. OncoDNA is a pioneer in analysing not only the DNA of the tumour but also its proteins. OncoDNA is able to identify these proteins using a technique of tumour cell staining called "immunohistochemistry".
Targeted therapies have become key in precision medicine. Many are currently under development. Their goal is to halt tumour progression by inhibiting the activity of specific targets related to tumour progression.
(1) Extracellular growth factors that promote the formation of new blood vessels (a process called angiogenesis). These blood vessels supply the cancer cells with oxygen and nutrients and are therefore crucial for tumour enlargement and invasion of new tissues.
(2) Transmembrane receptors. These receptors are located on the surface of tumour cells and bind to extracellular molecules (signals), such as growth factors. The receptors subsequently transmit the signal information to other molecules (proteins) inside of the cell.
(3) Intracellular proteins that receive the signal transmitted through the transmembrane receptors. They promote a variety of cellular processes, such as tumour growth, survival or invasion.
Hormones are important molecules in our body which regulate many processes, such as growth, development and reproduction.
Hormonal therapies are drugs used to block the action or production of hormones, thereby slowing down or stopping the growth of certain cancers that are hormone-sensitive (meaning that they are dependent on a hormone for survival and/or growth). Hormone-sensitive tumours show hormone receptors on their surface, such as estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer, or androgen receptor in prostate cancer.
One of the main roles of our immune system is to defend the body against infecting and other foreign agents by distinguishing
our body´s own cells from foreign elements. The principal immunologic cells are called leukocytes or white blood cells. Some examples include macrophages and lymphocytes (natural killer cells, T-cells and B-cells).
The immune system not only provides a line of defense against foreign agents, it can also protect us against tumour cells. Unfortunately, cancer cells have several strategies to become "invisible" to the immune system avoiding immune-mediated elimination.
The goal of immunotherapy is to mobilise the patient's own immune system against the disease. There are several kinds of immunotherapies, such as artificial monoclonal antibodies or immune checkpoint inhibitors. The latter ones bind to molecules that inhibit the immune system, blocking those immune-inhibitory molecules and reactivating the immune system.
OncoDEEP analyses tissue biopsies from the primary tumour or metastasis through a series of tests on 313 genes and proteins. This comprehensive biomarker test helps to predict a patient's response to approved or experimental targeted therapies, immunotherapies, hormonal therapies and chemotherapies.
OncoSTRAT&GO combines testing of both a solid biopsy (primary tumour or metastasis tissue) and a liquid biopsy (blood samples). It helps to establish the complete genetic profile of a tumour and to identify a patient's sensitivity or resistance to targeted therapies, chemotherapies, hormonal therapies and immunotherapies.
OncoSELECT is a fast and minimally invasive analysis of a blood sample. It is the perfect solution to identify therapeutic options for cancer patients not able to have their tumour biopsied or whose biopsy is too old. It can help to detect treatment resistance to targeted therapies (before first-line to check the heterogeneity of the disease, or during/after treatment to check for acquired resistance mutations), as well as to monitor cancer progression.
Our Monitoring Solution is a test based on the analysis of circulating tumour DNA. It helps to monitor a patient's response to a treatment and to detect a possible recurrence of the disease. The test is customised for each patient, as it targets specific mutations identified through previous biomarker testing.
Our tests are reimbursed in a growing number of countries. The reimbursement depends on your public or private health insurance scheme, and either some or all our tests may be covered. Our solutions may also be available through certain research projects in which your oncologist may be taking part in.
In any case, talk to your oncologist and to your insurance provider for additional information.
A scientific paper showed that OncoDNA provided information on available treatments in 92% of patients with advanced solid cancer. However, each cancer is different and it may also be that no alternative is found. The effectiveness of the biomarker test will depend on your type of cancer, its severity, the treatments you have already received, and many other factors. Feel free to ask your oncologist to contact us to assess together the potential benefits regarding your case.
Your oncologist can order the biomarker tests that best fit your clinical situation via OncoSHARE. OncoSHARE is a web platform on which it takes just a few minutes to create a secure account and place orders. Your oncologist will receive the invoice and the kit to be used in order to send us your sample (tumour tissue specimen or/and blood sample). Once we receive your payment and sample(s), we will perform the analysis in our certified laboratory. Your oncologist will be notified as soon as the report with all test results and our therapeutic recommendations is available on OncoSHARE.
Our biomarker tests are designed to provide your oncologist with the most comprehensive information to make the best choice of treatment. However, cancer is a complex disease that evolves over time, and therefore it is very tricky to predict the efficiency of a treatment. What we do is to provide you with the best treatment options based on scientific knowledge.