New test expands cancer diagnostics portfolio and strengthens Roche Diagnostics’ comprehensive tumour marker menu
Roche today announced the global launch
(except US) of Elecsys ProGRP, a test that distinguishes between the two
main types of lung cancer – small cell (SCLC) and non-small cell
(NSCLC) lung cancer – and can help diagnose early-stage SCLC. Correct
differential diagnosis in lung cancer is important, as the two types
have different prognoses and must be treated differently: early-stage
NSCLC can be cured by surgery, while SCLC is treated with chemo- and
radiotherapy. Studies have shown that ProGRP as a standalone test is
superior to the current standard neuron-specific enolase (NSE)1) test
and that measuring both ProGRP and NSE enhances diagnostic accuracy.
The ProGRP test from Roche is the first which can be determined in
serum or plasma. This allows a combined application with NSE from a
single sample tube. Healthcare professionals benefit from ProGRP by
improved determination of the histological subtype if biopsy results are
“As a leader in oncology, Roche is committed to providing reliable diagnostic tests to enable earlier detection of cancer,” said Roland Diggelmann, COO Division Roche Diagnostics. “Until now, patients with SCLC have usually been diagnosed only when the disease has reached an advanced stage, when the chances of a cure are very low. ProGRP meets a medical need for more precise diagnosis, supporting medical decision making and helping healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes.”
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Approximately 1.35 million new cases are diagnosed every year, representing almost 13% of all new cancer diagnoses. Smoking is the main risk factor. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is particularly aggressive, spreading rapidly to lymph nodes and other organs.
About the ProGRP test
Progastrin-releasing peptide (ProGRP) is a biomarker which is
overexpressed in SCLC, with elevated levels occurring primarily in the
blood of patients with this form of lung cancer. The ProGRP test is an
important diagnostic tool, as it can help clinicians determine the
appropriate treatment pathway. Studies have shown that ProGRP can also
identify early-stage SCLC2) and help to distinguish SCLC from benign lung diseases3).
The Elecsys ProGRP test, for use on Roche’s cobas modular analysers,
can be used with serum or plasma. ProGRP and NSE can therefore be
determined in serum from a single sample tube. As NSE cannot be measured
in plasma, this unique feature improves workflow and efficiency in the
laboratory if measurement of both ProGRP and NSE is necessary.