Pervenio™ Lung RS is a genetic test that examines activity of 14 genes in tumor tissue. The current JAMA study demonstrates that the test accurately predicted mortality risk among 269 T1a, node-negative patients. The test categorized 92 patients as high risk; survival among these patients was just over 50 percent. In contrast, survival among patients classified by the test as low risk was nearly 85 percent. Further, when patients with tumors smaller than one centimeter were examined, 100 percent of the low-risk patients survived, as compared to just over 30 percent of the patients determined to be at high risk by the test.
"Physicians don't need to send these early stage patients home for 'watchful waiting' anymore, knowing that a good percentage of them will see their cancer recur and many of those will die," said Ronnie Andrews, president of Medical Sciences at Life Technologies. "We haven't seen survival rates for early stage lung cancer improve significantly during the past 30 years, but now we have a tool that can help enable more patients to receive a treatment that may increase their survival closer to what we see in diseases in which we have made progress, such as breast and colon cancer."
Five-year survival rates for stage I lung cancer are approximately 60 percent. By comparison, patients with stage I colon or breast cancer can expect surgical cure rates of greater than 90 percent. In addition, genetic testing of tumors may play a role in extending early screening efforts.
"Currently, the issue of screening for lung cancer is somewhat controversial," said Dr. Mann. "One challenge of screening is how to maximize the chances of survival for a dramatically increased number of patients who would be diagnosed at the very earliest stages. Right now, a quarter or more of those patients would still die, despite early detection. The Pervenio™ test could add a layer of sophistication and personalization to the care of that growing population that could improve survival rates even further."