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Genetron Health Joins Chinese R&D Project for Early Cancer Screenings

NEW YORK – Cancer molecular profiling firm Genetron Health announced Saturday it is participating in a Chinese research project for early cancer screening led by China's Ministry of Science and Technology.

The Beijing-based company is collaborating with the National Cancer Center and the Cancer Hospital at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) to contribute and adapt technology based on its Mutation Capsule for the project. The Mutation Capsule uses a small amount of blood to detect methylation and multiple ctDNA alterations, allowing multiple tests to be run on one sample, the firm said. 

The Liquid Biopsy-based Malignant Tumor Early Screening Technology Research and Development Project aims to "achieve a breakthrough in the key technologies of liquid biopsy for cancer screening," Genetron said in a statement. The project intends to build "a highly sensitive, highly specific, efficient, and affordable liquid biopsy-based early detection technology platform" along with cancer screening and early detection tests. 

The project is focused specifically on lung and digestive system cancers and will include a multicenter cohort study in lung cancer with 120,000 patients and a cohort study in digestive system cancer with more than 100,000 patients. 

"Existing examinations lack precise and high-quality tumor screenings and only use a single biomarker target," said Qian Liu, a professor at the Cancer Hospital. "Early cancer diagnosis and screening generally does not meet the standard of specificity and sensitivity, which will mislead patients." 

Genetron said it will continue to expand its early screening research into more types of cancer and plans to accelerate its clinical development and commercialization efforts. In 2019, the company collaborated with CAMS on a prospective cohort study in liver cancer early screening for carriers of hepatitis B.