This story originally ran on June 30.
Australian diagnostics company HealthLinx released data last week suggesting the potential of one of its biomarkers for use as a prostate cancer diagnostic.
In a study using a well-defined set of 30 prostate cancer plasma samples and 14 male controls, researchers detected the biomarker – which HealthLinx, citing a need to protect ongoing patent applications, identified only as CM1 – in only three of the 14 control samples, while detecting elevated concentrations in 27 of the 30 prostate cancer samples.
"The company is in discussions with a group of clinicians who are reviewing the data with the view that a study will be designed to validate the diagnostic utility of our technology in a clinical environment," Nick Gatsios, managing director of HealthLinx, said in a statement.
Prostate-specific antigen is the most commonly used biomarker for prostate cancer diagnosis, but its relatively poor performance – specificity of 63.1 percent and sensitivity of 34.9 percent – makes alternative tests desirable. Based on the current market for PSA testing, there is a roughly $350 million market for prostate cancer testing in the US alone.
HealthLinx is also involved in a 1,150-patient trial to determine whether the addition of two new protein biomarkers would improve its five-biomarker ovarian cancer diagnostic OvPlex (PM 6/18/2010).