Konkuk University Medical Center (KUMC) opened the world’s first precision medicine lung cancer clinic that uses a novel EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) gene mutation detection method, it said.
|Professor Lee Kye-young|
The method, developed by KUMC’s research team led by Professor Lee Kye-young, extracts DNA from the extracellular endoplasmic reticulum from body fluids (such as the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, pleural fluid, cerebrospinal fluid) to analyze the EGFR gene in lung cancer patients.
“This is the world’s first technique that detects EGFR gene mutations using extracellular endoplasmic reticulum DNA isolated from body fluids,” Lee said.
Examination tests that promptly confirm the presence of EGFR mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients have an impact on the cancer drug used, KUMC said. According to the hospital, NSCLC accounts for 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancer cases, and of NSCLC patients, EGFR-mutation positive NSCLC cases account for 40 percent.
The sensitivity of the newly-developed technique was on par with currently used procedures, such as the EGFR gene test and cytodiagnosis tests. Above all, the method is a non-invasive method with the use of body fluids, the hospital said.
Time spent on diagnosing the patient also decreased, according to KUMC. Unlike conventional tissue tests, which take 10 to 14 days, KUMC’s method produces results in just one day, the researchers said.
The new detection method also showed higher responsiveness to a resistance gene that sometimes develops after first-line anticancer treatment called T790M. KUMC said it’s conducting further clinical trials approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to investigate the effect of the method on the T790M gene, it said
“If the examination test [being studied] is successfully executed, it will be able to detect the EGFR mutation as well as the T790M resistance gene with only a body fluid and without redoing a biopsy,” Lee said.
The lung cancer clinic is open for diagnosis every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
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