NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Norwegian biotech company DiaGenic presented preliminary data from its Indian breast cancer gene expression blood test study at a meeting in New Delhi today.
So far the results — based on 113 subjects — suggest DiaGenic’s test is as effective for diagnosing breast cancer in Indian populations as it is in other populations tested, the company said. The firm plans to enroll a total of 720 subjects in the ongoing, multi-center study. The company reported its findings at the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology Societies of India’s annual meeting.
The DiaGenic test detects breast cancer by measuring secondary gene expression changes from venous blood samples. This gene expression signature was initially identified in Scandinavian and American patients. Developers are touting the test as an accurate alternative to mammography in pre-menopausal women, who tend to have dense breast tissue that obscures mammography images.
The company plans to complete the study within the next few months and said it may eventually market the test in India, where breast cancer often occurs at younger ages than it does in Western countries.
“Currently, survival rates for breast cancer are low in India and there is not an effective screening program,” Yathish Kumar, a physician with Panacea Hospitals and investigator on the study, said in a statement. “Using blood as the sample material and being able to screen earlier is thus an extremely attractive proposition and would enable us to start tackling the problem effectively.”