VolitionRx announces prostate cancer study

Oct. 6, 2014

VolitionRx Limited, a life sciences company focused on developing blood-based diagnostic tests for different types of cancer, has announced a study with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology. The study will examine the competency of VolitionRx NuQ assays to distinguish anaplastic prostate cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease, from typical castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), a less aggressive form.

Anaplastic prostate cancers are a clinically defined subset of prostate cancers that behave like small cell prostate carcinomas. Small cell prostate carcinoma is a morphological variant of prostate cancer that is rare at initial diagnosis but often emerges during the castration-resistant progression of the disease and is associated with a distinct, aggressive, clinical behavior and resistance to standard prostate cancer therapies. The anaplastic prostate carcinomas are quick-spreading and, unlike many CRPC cases, require early chemotherapy. They are estimated to represent 20 percent to 30 percent of lethal prostate cancers. VolitionRX spokespersons stress that an objective, noninvasive molecular marker that can be monitored to identify the anaplastic prostate carcinomas would be an invaluable diagnostic tool. MD Anderson will assess if VolitionRx's NuQ assays can meet this need.

The retrospective study will include samples obtained from two previous clinical trials, one that selected men with CRPC who met one of seven anaplastic clinical criteria, and a second that included unselected men with non-anaplastic CRPC. The samples will be assessed using VolitionRx's assays for specific histone modifications of circulating nucleosomes. Patterns and changes in histone modifications are used to indicate certain cancers, and this method will assess the competency of VolitionRx's assays to identify anaplastic CRPC. Read about tests being developed based on nucleosomic technology at the VolitionRx website.

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