This week’s Innovation Partners BioBlog focuses on advances in cancer detection and screening. A new blood test identifies eight cancer types that account for 60% or more deaths from cancer each year, while a non-invasive blood test may hold promise for colorectal cancer screening. This and more in this week’s BioBlog.

BioBlog red blood cells

Liquid Biopsy Test Shows Promise for Detecting Early-Stage Colorectal Cancer

A new test that identifies circulating tumor cells (CTCs) present in the bloodstream can detect colorectal cancer at an early stage with 8 to 88% accuracy, a new study shows. The findings from the new study will be presented at the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco. The findings are promising because Americans still lag behind other nations in colorectal cancer screening. Such “liquid biopsies” or detection via the blood may be a better-accepted method of detection for many people than existing tests such as stool samples or colonoscopies.

ACHP, AMGA applaud flexibility for Medicare Advantage in new rule

The AMGA and the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) submitted comments yesterday in response to a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The proposed rule would update the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs. This includes changes aimed at changes aimed at increasing flexibility in Medicare Advantage plan design and combatting the opioid crisis.

Intravenous Combination Regimen Safe, Effective in Older Patients With Type of Blood Malignancy

The Journal of Clinic Pathways reported that Inotuzumab ozogamicin—an anti-CD22 monoclonal antibody bound to calicheamicin—has demonstrated single-agent activity in relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It may be a new first-line treatment for older patients with blood malignancy.

Frontline Daratumumab Granted FDA’s Priority Review for Multiple Myeloma

In response to findings from the ALCYONE study, the FDA has granted a priority review designation to daratumumab (Darzalex) in combination with bortezomib (Velcade), melphalan, and prednisone (VMP) for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the 2017 ASH Annual Meeting.

Patients with blood cancer precursor at risk of developing cancer even after 30 years

Even after 30 years of stability, patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance are at risk of progressing to multiple myeloma or a related cancer. Mayo Clinic researchers published these findings in the Wednesday, January 17, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Monoclonal gammopathy affects 3 percent of people over age 50.

Single Blood Test Screens for Eight Cancer Types

CancerSEEK, a new, non-invasive blood test developed by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, is a single blood test that can detect eight common cancer types and their location. The multianalyte test simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer proteins and the presence of cancer gene mutations from circulating DNA in the blood. The eight cancer types detected by the test account for 60% of U.S. cancer deaths. Five of the cancer types covered in the test currently have no other screening method.