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Breast cancer: new treatment monitoring test avoids risks from biopsy

Through their shared dedication to patients, LifeArc and diagnostics company Biocartis are developing a ‘liquid biopsy’ test for breast cancer patients using the automated Idylla™ platform.

The Idylla platform is a machine that accepts a small sample of blood, fed in via a cartridge, and can produce a result within 90 minutes. The liquid biopsy involves taking a small blood sample, which is a relatively simple procedure, although the process for analysing it is anything but!

Michael Dalrymple said, “Instead of taking a biopsy from the cancer itself, which is invasive and carries significant risk to the patient, it is possible to detect tumour-related DNA in the blood from a small blood sample put in the Idylla machine. Monitoring the patient using a liquid biopsy is convenient as blood is routinely taken during the cancer treatment. Now it is possible to use this blood to monitor if the treatment becomes ineffective.”

The collaboration with Biocartis is fundamental to the project’s success because we each bring different skills and capabilities to solve the problem. As Dalrymple explained, “As LifeArc is funding development work in our own laboratories, we share the risks of research with Biocartis. They have a proven track record of delivering diagnostic tests to the patient and, if commercially viable, LifeArc will benefit from any sales generated. We will then use this to fund further diagnostics research.”

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