Molecular profiling, biomarker testing and targeted therapies are changing the way physicians treat cancer patients. In the not-too-distant future, experts agree that cancer will be defined and treated based on each person’s unique molecular profile and biomarkers rather than the body part where it first originated. Until this happens, oncologists must rely on knowing the part of the body where the cancer started (known as the primary site) to guide their treatment plans.
So what happens when a person is diagnosed with cancer and doctors do not know it’s primary site?
Each year 45,000 – 75,000 US cancer patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease but the primary site (the part of the body where the cancer started) cannot be determined. This is known as “cancer of unknown primary” or CUP. In some instances, physical examination, detailed blood tests and various imaging scans can help determine the primary tumor location. In other cases, doctors are forced to use their best guess and treat accordingly. As a result, the prognosis of patients diagnosed with CUP is poor.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Cancer of Unknown Primary, check out the Rosetta Genomics Cancer Origin Test. The Cancer Origin Test uses highly sensitive technology to measure the level of microRNAs in a tumor sample to determine the primary tumor location.
How accurate is the Cancer Origin Test? In a nutshell, I’d say it’s pretty darn accurate. In a study of 509 tumor samples, 82% of the samples tested using the Cancer Origin Test produced a single predicted origin with 90% accuracy. In another study, 84 CUP patients were tested and results from 77 patients predicted a single origin with 92% accuracy.*
The Bottom Line… The origin of your cancer can have a big impact on your treatment plan. If you’ve been diagnosed with Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP), ask your doctor which test(s) he or she plans to use to diagnose your cancer. The Cancer Origin Test can yield results in just 4-7 days enabling doctors to provide patients with their best treatment options quickly. If your doctor is not familiar with the Cancer Origin Test, let them know about it. The right diagnosis can save your life.
BTW, many insurance companies including Medicare now cover this testing. For those patients who may not be able to afford testing, Rosetta Genomics has a Patient Assistance Program (PAP). For more information, call their Customer Service at 1-215-389-9000 or US Toll Free at 1-888-522-7971.
*Rosetta Genomics *Meiri E., Mueller W.C., Rosenwald S., A second-Generation MicroRNA-Based Assay for Diagnosing Tumor Tissue Origin, The Oncologist 2012 *Pentheroudakis G, Pavlidis N, Fountzilas G, et al. Novel microRNA-basedassay demonstrates 92% agreement with diagnosis based on clinicopatholoic and management data in a cohort of patients with carcinoma of unknownprimary. Mol Cancer June 2013