DiaTech Oncology, a clinical pathology laboratory, and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center are conducting a pilot study using the company’s MiCK (microculture kinetic) assay to determine the best chemotherapy for each patient. The assay will eventually be introduced to other military hospitals, with results collected on multiple forms of cancer.
Diatech has been working with medical and GYN oncologists from Walter Reed to study apoptosis using the MiCK assay, in which tumor cells of individual patients are exposed to multiple doses of several chemotherapeutics either as single drugs or in combinations. An algorithm is used to monitor and compute the amounts of apoptosis caused by each of the drugs to establish a drug-sensitivity profile of the patient’s tumor cells.
The MiCK assay uses 45 different chemotherapy agents and numerous combinations of drug therapy. DiaTech says it is the only test assay available today with proof-of-concept outcome data.
“The test can guide a physician on choosing between single drug or combination treatments and whether to use less expensive generic drugs or newer proprietary drugs based on which drugs will give the patient the most effective response,” says Cary Presant, M.D., DiaTech’s medical director and professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.