Challenges in cancer treatment
The choice of medical therapy of solid tumors is based on results from large clinical trials. However, the efficacy of a certain drug is not the same in each patient. Some patients are highly sensitive to a drug while others are resistant. The exact cause of these different responses is unknown. It is commonly assumed that resistance is related to the structure and cellular composition of the individual tumor. With the IndiTreat® test it is possible to predict before treatment how well the tumor of an individual patient will respond to various drugs and their combinations and which will have no effect.
The IndiTreat® test
The cell based, functional IndiTreat® method was developed for colorectal carcinoma (colonic cancer) and assists the doctor in choosing the most effective medical therapy for the patient. In order to perform the IndiTreat® test a small tissue sample is taken from the tumor. This tissue sample containing living tumor cells is placed in a 2cureX transport container and shipped within 24 hours by courier to the nearest 2cureX laboratory. From the tumor tissue three-dimensional microtumors consisting of approximately 300 cells are produced. In our own studies and numerous scientific publications, it has been shown that this method preserves the microenvironment of the tumor. In other words, the structural composition and the specific characteristics of the primary tumor are maintained. Then, during a week, the growth of the microtumors in the laboratory is observed in the presence and absence of different drugs. The 3D microtumors are classified as sensitive or resistant to each drug depending on if their growth is inhibited or not. Clinical studies have documented that the response of the microtumors to drugs in the laboratory is comparable to the drug response of the patient´s tumor. By means of pre-therapeutic identification of an effective medical therapy against an individual patient’s tumor, ineffective treatment and accompanying side effects can be avoided.
Differentiation IndiTreat® to DNA tests
There are several approaches to evaluate a cancer patient’s response to medical therapy. In 3-8% of patients, a gene mutation in a tumor allowing for an appropriate (targeted) medical therapy may be identified. On the other hand, the clinical response to many anticancer drugs are not related to a mutation. Finally, mutational analyses only allow for response prediction to single drugs and not combination therapy which is often used in daily practice. In contrast, the IndiTreat® test is independent of mutations and instead the response to single drugs or combinations of drugs is directly measured.
The IndiTreat® test has been used since 2006 on tumor samples from more than 1000 patients. 2cureX A/S is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and has developed the IndiTreat® test in close cooperation with several cancer hospitals. In 2015 a German subsidiary was established in Hamburg (2cureX GmbH).
Payment of IndiTreat®
Reimbursement of drugs differs from country to country. In general, the costs incurred in the context of established cancer therapy are paid by the general health insurance of patients. At the moment, IndiTreat® is not a general established hospital service and will not yet be compensated by the national health insurance. For more information regarding the availability of IndiTreat in your area please consult your doctor, your insurance company or 2cureX.