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DxTerity, City of Hope Partner to Develop Blood Test for Radiation Therapy Response

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – DxTerity said today that it is collaborating with City of Hope Medical Center to develop a blood test to predict whether cancer patients are likely to benefit from radiation therapy or are at risk for radiation toxicity.

About 60 percent of all cancer patients receive some form of radiation treatment. Despite the treatment's overall excellent safety profile, about 10 percent of patients experience radiation toxicity while others don't benefit from the treatment. Los Angeles-based DxTerity aims to develop a genomic blood test to identify which patients are most likely to benefit, allowing oncologists to minimize radiation exposure for unresponsive and sensitive patients, or use adjunctive therapies such as immunotherapy to improve response.

In collaboration with City of Hope, DxTerity is running the RADIANT radiotherapy response study, which is initially focusing on patients receiving radiation treatment to their abdominal-pelvic region. Cancer patients about to undergo radiation treatment at the City of Hope Medical Center are being enrolled on site.

In addition, DxTerity is enrolling patients nationally online — individuals can participate by self-collecting a fingerstick blood sample using DxTerity's DxCollect From-Home mailer kit prior to receiving radiation therapy. For the at-home study, DxTerity is also enrolling patients with prostate, colorectal, anal, esophageal, cervical, ovarian, uterine, gall bladder, kidney, stomach, pancreatic, and testicular cancers.

Researchers will then analyze genomic markers in the collected blood samples to understand individuals' biological response to the treatment.

DxTerity said that the study is being funded in part through a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract from the National Cancer Institute.

"Not knowing who will respond to radiation therapy or if they will experience radiation toxicity are ongoing barriers to personalizing cancer treatment," Yi-Jen Chen, principal investigator of the trial and a researcher at City of Hope Medical Center, said in a statement. "We are excited to partner with DxTerity in advancing cancer research to address this problem."

DxTerity has also been developing a gene expression-based test for radiation exposure in the event of a large-scale radiation event. Last year the company said it received a contract worth up to $150 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop this assay.