CARLSBAD, Calif., July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced the acquisition of Pinpoint Genomics, Inc., and its early-stage non-small cell lung cancer test that can help doctors identify those early-stage patients at high risk for progression to late-stage disease. Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, claiming close to 1.5 million lives every year.
Early-Stage Lung Cancer Diagnostic Could Save Lives
"Although we've realized impressive gains against many forms of cancer, the survival rate for lung cancer hasn't changed in 30 years," said Ronnie Andrews, president of medical sciences at Life Technologies. "Half of the early-stage patients don't survive beyond five years, a situation that could benefit from more accurate prognosis and more efficient treatment protocols."
Lung cancer is currently diagnosed and staged by a combination of tumor size, location and the extent of spread to lymph nodes. The current standard of care for most stage I disease is surgery followed by monitoring, otherwise known as "watchful waiting." The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends that both Stage II and the highest risk Stage IB patients be treated with adjuvant chemotherapy."Data from the Pinpoint assay will fill a gap of insufficient prognostic information, and help physicians and their early-stage patients, who face very difficult decisions regarding post-operative therapy, to make better, individualized plans," said Michael Mann, M. D., an associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco and a co-founder of Pinpoint Genomics. "It should therefore facilitate more effective implementation of current guidelines." The problem, he explains, is that conventional staging continues to group together in both stages I and II many patients who have been cured by surgery with patients who will recur and die. As a result, many stage II patients forgo chemotherapy in the hope that they are in the former group; to date, there has been no validated method of identifying the highest-risk stage I patients for whom chemotherapy is recommended.
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