A new study provides further evidence that the Rna Disruption Assay™ (RDA™) may be a useful tool to predict the clinical outcome of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. RNA Disruption Assay as a Biomarker of Pathological Complete Response in Neoadjuvant Trastuzumab-Treated Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2–Positive Breast Cancer (Toomey et al), conducted under the direction of Dr. Bryan Hennessy of the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland,  supports the findings that RDA is an effective prediction tool for which patients will have a higher likelihood of achieving a pathological complete response (pCR) in response to chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

Many breast cancer patients do not experience a survival benefit from chemotherapy, but all patients experience significant short, and often long-term, toxic side effects. The RNA Disruption Assay is a cancer diagnostic test providing physicians with an early evaluation of how patients are responding to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. RDA identifies non-responders early in treatment.  Such non-responders could be spared the toxic side effects of the ineffective treatment, and switched earlier to potentially more beneficial treatments (surgery, radiation therapy, or another chemotherapy regimen).

This new study also noted the benefit of obtaining tumour biopsies as early as after cycle 1 of chemotherapy treatment to study the clinical utility of RDA. The findings indicate that the RDA score may be a useful early prognostic and predictive biomarker of the likelihood of later pathological complete response (pCR), with the potential to guide subsequent neoadjuvant treatment in an attempt to optimize pCR rates and minimize unnecessary side effects.

RDA is an exciting new technology that addresses a serious unmet need. With RDA testing we will be able to tailor treatment to actual patient response. We are interested in exploring how RDA can help us improve treatments for breast cancer and rectal cancer patients,” said Dr. Bryan Hennessy, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Senior Lecturer, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dublin City University (DCU), Vice Chair of ICORG, the Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group.

JNCI also invited Dr. Maureen Trudeau, MA, MD, FRCPC, Medical Oncologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Odette Cancer Centre, and Professor Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto to comment on the results of the study by Toomey et al. Those comments, also published by JNCI,include the following excerpt:

“RDA warrants further investigation as a potential candidate with both prognostic and predictive benefits. Women with breast cancer will benefit from the knowledge that their treatment is effective, and if not, will benefit perhaps from a switch in therapy and avoidance of further side effects from ineffective treatment.”

“There is an urgent need for a test to determine which patients will respond with a survival benefit from chemotherapy and which patients will not,” said Dr. Jeremy Bridge-Cook, President and CEO of Rna Diagnostics Inc. “Rna Diagnostics and our collaborators continue to build clinical evidence with RDA, as evidenced by this important publication in JNCI. Our goal is to improve the lives of breast cancer patients worldwide.”

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute publishes peer-reviewed original research from around the world and is internationally acclaimed as a source for the most up-to-date news and information from the rapidly changing fields of cancer research and treatment.

RDA was developed by Laurentian University professor Dr. Amadeo Parissenti and his research associate Dr. Baoqing Guo of Health Sciences North.  The University has licensed the technology exclusively to Rna Diagnostics Inc., a Canadian molecular diagnostics company that develops diagnostic tools to improve chemotherapy management. Rna Diagnostics’ state of the art laboratory is located at the Health Sciences North (HSN) campus in Sudbury, Canada.

About Rna Diagnostics Inc. www.rnadiagnostics.com
Rna Diagnostics is a cancer diagnostics company providing a platform of prognostic biomarker tools to help improve the lives of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Founded in 2010, Rna Diagnostics’ first product is  The RNA Disruption Assay™ (RDA™) providing physicians with an evaluation of how individual patients are responding to chemotherapy as early as 14 days after 1stcycle of treatment. If chemotherapy is working, the physician and patient can continue treatment with confidence. If chemotherapy is not working, physicians may consider alternate therapies. For patients, this means avoiding harmful side effects and the possibility for improved survival outcomes. Rna Diagnostics has clinical trials and collaborations in progress at multiple clinical research centres in Canada, Italy, Japan, Ireland and the United States. The RNA Disruption Assayis available for clinical trial use from a state-of-the-art laboratory in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.