Can a Simple Test Really Predict Whether a Cancer Treatment Will Succeed?
Source: Streetwise Reports (2/20/18) http://bit.ly/2BDIbBs
Imagine if a simple test of a blood or tissue sample could predict whether the standard treatment of care for a cancer would be effective. That day appears to be near for patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Doctors know that for people with Hodgkin's lymphoma, the standard treatment—ABVD chemotherapy—will fail in roughly 15-20% of patients.
But the trick is knowing which 15 or 20 people out of 100 fall into that group.
Having that knowledge would save patients from going through debilitating and costly chemotherapy treatments, only to relapse. It would allow oncologists to treat those patients initially with targeted therapy that's appropriate for them before their bodies are weakened by unsuccessful first-line chemotherapy.
Such a test for Hodgkin's lymphoma is being developed by Toronto-based 3D Signatures Inc. (DXD:TSX.V; TDSGF:OTCQB; 3D0:FSE).
Telomeres, located at the tips of each chromosome, are protective regions of DNA. 3D Signatures notes that the "3D organization of telomeres within a given cell is highly predictive of the disease status of the patient."
Using the company's TeloViewTM platform, which is a proprietary biomarker-based approach to personalized medicine, the Telo-HLTM test for Hodgkin's Lymphoma has been in trials.
"I like the fact that 3DS has a platform technology. It has applications for various diseases and medical conditions." – Steve Palmer, AlphaNorth Asset Management
3D Signatures has just announced that preliminary analysis of trial data for Telo-HLTM confirms what was seen in previous small-scale studies, and shows the "TeloViewTM platform is able to distinguish, with a high degree of statistical significance, multiple differences between a patient group that responds to standard ABVD chemotherapy, and a group that relapses or is refractory to treatment within the first 12 months."
Using specimens from more than 400 Hodgkin's patients in Canada and Europe, who were treated with ABVD, the three-part process included "a wet lab co-immuno-telomeres FISH assay, 3-dimensional imaging (with identification of 30 Hodgkin and 30 Reed-Sternberg cells), followed by TeloView™ software analysis."
3D Signatures shared the results with its statistical partner BioStat Solutions Inc., which "compared the TeloViewTM data with the corresponding clinical outcomes for patients, and identified highly significant group differences across multiple TeloViewTM parameters."
Ronald Bromley, CEO of BSSI, stated,"BSSI is excited to be collaborating with 3DS, helping them ensure the quality of the data being used is to the highest standards, and that they are poised to deliver the best possible analysis of this predictive technology for HL treatment."
Jason Flowerday, CEO of 3D Signatures, noted, "We believe that these results from the application of our TeloViewTM platform to Hodgkin's lymphoma are so strong, the Company will now even more confidently proceed with developing the final scoring model for its Telo-HLTM test to predict response at the individual patient level."
"This is great news for the Telo-HLTM program, and we remain on track to complete all phases of the test development and analytical validation by April 2018," Flowerday added.
"I expect 3DS' shares to advance in lockstep with the company's development of their telomere technology." – Daniel Carlson, Tailwinds Research Group
According to the National Institutes of Health, there are more than 200,000 patients living with Hodgkin's lymphoma in the U.S.; an estimated 200,000 new cases arise each year globally, of which 30,000 are in North America and the European Union. The medical cost for a relapsing patient in the U.S. is approximately $400,000, compared to $90,000 for a non-relapsing patient.
The company also announced that it intends to submit the pending final results from this Telo-HLTM development trial to a highly reputable clinical journal for peer-review and publication in the second half of 2018.
3D Signatures is also developing similar tests on its TeloViewTM platform for a number of much more prevalent cancers, including prostate cancer, lung cancer and multiple myeloma as well as possible diagnostic test for Alzheimer's Disease.
3D Signatures is on the investment radar of AlphaNorth Asset Management. Steve Palmer, AlphaNorth's chief investment officer, told Streetwise Reports, "One of the key things I look for in an investment is a company that has something that is proprietary and a strong growth profile."
On 3D Signatures, Palmer said, the company "has a platform technology that analyzes a component of a person's DNA called telomeres and then is potentially able to predict the outcome of various medical treatments. I like the fact that it's a platform technology. It has applications for a wide variety of diseases and medical conditions. Also, the timeline to have a commercial product is much shorter and lower risk than a traditional biotech company developing a new drug."
Daniel Carlson of Tailwinds Research Group noted on Jan. 5 that "3DS is poised to enter into several partnerships for its interesting technology. Meanwhile, the stock's valuation discounts all success. I expect shares to advance in lockstep with the company's development of their telomere technology and for 2018 to mark a dramatic turnaround for the Company."
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Disclosure: Patrice Fusillo compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise reports as an employee. She or members of her household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. She or members of her household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
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Funds controlled by AlphaNorth Asset Management hold shares of 3D Signatures