ASCO24: BillionToOne unveils results from tumour profiling test comparison

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ASCO24: BillionToOne unveils results from tumour profiling test comparison

By: Robert Barrie

June 5, 2024

While the advancement of comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) ushers in a more targeted approach to treating patients with cancer, BillionToOne says its approach could overcome limitations present in some patients.

CGPs use circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) – fragments of genetic material that break off from the tumour and enter the bloodstream – to detect mutations and match these to targeted treatments. BillionToOne states these have less utility when the ctDNA signal is low, which is common even in late-stage cancer patients.  The company has designed an assay to overcome these limitations by offering higher sensitivity.

In an abstract presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (ASCO24), BillionToOne’s NorthStar Select – the company’s liquid biopsy test for tumour profiling – has come out favourably in a head-to-head comparison with commercially available assays.

The NorthStar Select provides a prioritised list of mutations present in a patient’s tumour using next-generation sequencing (NGS).

BillionToOne analysed clinical samples from 182 patients with advanced forms of solid tumours using its NorthStar Select or comparator assays. The company found its device detected 43% more pathogenic variants when controlled for matched coverage regions.

“The great majority of variants that we found that the other assays did not were in the low variant allele fraction, the very low range. This more sensitive test could find things that other assays could not,” BillionToOne’s chief medical officer Dr Gary Palmer told Medical Device Network.

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