VERISTRAT® Testing – A novel approach to NSCLC

October 27th, 2013

VeriStrat®, a serum based proteomic assay can help physicians identify patients who are likely to have good or poor outcomes after treatment with EGFR inhibitors and thereby can provide valuable insight into whether chemotherapy or targeted therapy with TARCEVA®, a EGFR-TKI, is appropriate for their patients with advanced NSCLC, in the second line setting. This information is especially important for patients without an EGFR mutation or for those, whose EGFR mutation status is unknown. In the PROSE trial, patients classified as VeriStrat-Poor have better survival with chemotherapy than TARCEVA®, whereas patients classified as VeriStrat-Good have similar survival with TARCEVA® and chemotherapy. This data was presented at the 2013 ASCO meeting.


PROTON BEAM RADIATION THERAPY (PBRT) for Prostate Cancer

February 10th, 2013

PBRT is a type of external beam radiation therapy in which a beam of Proton particles are used to irradiate cancer tissue. It has been claimed that the main advantage of proton therapy is its ability to more precisely localize the radiation dosage to the tumor tissue and thereby improve tumor control, without causing significant damage to the surrounding tissues. This theoretical consideration was however disproved in a study published in the Jan 2, 2013 issue of the JNCI. In this study, data was gathered following prostate cancer treatment of over 22,000 medicare beneficiaries, with either IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) or PBRT. The authors noted that PBRT was not superior to IMRT with regards to efficacy or toxicity, after one year. PBRT was however twice as expensive as IMRT. It therefore remains to be seen if third party payors will warm up to PBRT,  with the expansion of PBRT centers across the country.