New data using EKF PointMan technology suggest the possibility of a simple blood test for cancers

July 23, 2014

EKF Diagnostics has announced that the latest results from its collaboration with the Institute of Life Sciences at the University of Swansea, UK, confirm the effectiveness of its PointMan DNA enrichment technology for isolating and characterizing low-level DNA mutations in blood. This may pave the way for a simple blood test to screen and diagnose different cancers, as well as monitor the efficacy of anti-cancer therapies.

Following work undertaken by the Swansea-based team earlier this year, which successfully detected circulating free DNA (cfDNA) mutations from melanoma patients using PointMan, further studies were carried out on blood samples from endometrial and lung cancer patients, archived in the Wales Cancer Bank. The latest results demonstrated the sensitivity of PointMan in detecting cfDNA mutations—BRAF (endometrial cancer) and EGFR (lung cancer)—which could therefore serve as a test for these biomarkers in the early detection of these cancers.

Based at the Institute of Life Sciences, the ongoing project aims to correlate the presence and abundance of specific mutant variants of known endometrial and ovarian cancer biomarkers in cfDNA from blood samples of patients with established clinical diagnoses for these conditions. Ultimately, the results will establish whether these biomarkers provide a better diagnosis, or enhance current diagnostic tests.

“This latest data-set from the Institute of Life Sciences and our MSc sponsorship marks a significant milestone in establishing the effectiveness of PointMan in the development of a blood test for various cancers,” says Julian Baines, EKF’s CEO. “Having confirmed its particular sensitivity, we can now move onto the next stage of evaluation, working with greater numbers of patient samples to clearly establish a correlation between cfDNA mutation status and the development of various solid tumors.” Read more about PointMan DNA enrichment technology.

Read more