More Accurate Prediction on Prognosis in Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer)
Test of Dutch-based SkylineDx gives patients better insight in their chances and enables clinicians to adjust their treatment
Rotterdam, 2 July 2015 – SkylineDx, an innovative biotechnology company specialising in the development and commercialization of genetic tests, is today launching its MMprofiler assay. This test enables clinicians to more accurately predict the prognosis of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) (bone marrow cancer) than traditional methods.
The MMprofiler measures the activity of 92 genes which are directly or indirectly related to the disease. These measurements were repeated across different studies, always with the same robustness and predictable outcome, thereby creating a test that is more reliable than traditional methods. Based on gene activity, clinicians can then use the test to predict for their patients how the disease will progress.
Unfortunately, between twenty and twenty-five percent of patients are informed that their prognosis is poorer. The overall survival of these patients is four times lower, on average, and these patients can expect the disease to return more quickly after treatment than patients with a better prognosis. Several guidelines for the treatment of multiple myeloma, like mSMART guidelines from the Mayo Clinic, recommend that patients be treated in accordance with their prognosis.
Patients, patient advocacy organisations, internists and clinical geneticists have all expressed a strong interest in the new test. At a major European conference on blood and bone marrow cancers held in Vienna this June, it was revealed that approximately 80% of patients wanted to be informed about disease progress.
‘The key to a successful doctor-patient relationship is good communication – it isn’t rocket science. Ask and involve them, be honest and listen very carefully to what they have to say’, says Mr Eric Low, chief executive officer of Myeloma UK, a patient advocacy group.
The new test is also supported by Prof. Dr. Sonneveld of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who recently received the Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on multiple myeloma: ‘We want to be able to predict disease progress based on the genetic properties of the malignant cell. While the current methods accommodate this need to some extent, it makes more sense to mark all genes involved in the incidence of multiple myeloma at once. Based on the profile generated, we can then divide patients based on their better or poorer prognosis.’
SkylineDx is a Rotterdam-based biotech company. SkylineDx is a spin-off of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and has 19 employees. The company specializes in the development andmarketing of innovative diagnostic tests based on genetic signatures with high clinical value. SkylineDxproducts make it possible for patients to obtain better insights in their disease and get the most optimaltreatment.
The MMprofiler is the key product of SkylineDx. It is the only standardized and validated all-in-one assay for multiple myeloma which uses new genetic signatures.
The AMLprofiler also belongs to the product range of SkylineDx. The AMLprofiler is a diagnostic test that makes the distinction between the various forms of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This enables hospital internists to make an optimal choice of therapy for patients.