US-based medical genetics company Invitae announced full access to its liquid-based Personalized Cancer Monitoring (PCM) platform to help detect minimal or molecular residual disease (MRD) in patients with solid tumours.

The company claims that the platform employs a novel set of personalised assays based on a patient’s tumour to detect circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in blood, allowing for risk classification, treatment response evaluation, and diagnosis of cancer recurrence.

A research study conducted by Invitae and TRACERx study demonstrated the reliability of MRD to detect lung cancer patients at high risk of relapse, identify post-surgical recurrence earlier than traditional imaging, assess therapy response, and act as a surrogate for clinical trial endpoints. It also has the ability to lessen the clinical trials and fast-track the development of life-saving drugs.

PCM can identify MRD faster than conventional methods like Liquid biopsy as it has high specificity and the technology to detect ctDNA at very low levels. Validation studies claimed 99.9% sensitivity in detecting ctDNA at a 0.008% variant allele frequency.

Invitae chief medical officer Robert Nussbaum said: “Relapse risk stratification is a clinical need for many patients undergoing treatment for solid tumours and is best served by up-to-date molecular tools to complement and improve upon the standard of care methods for recurrence detection.

“The PCM platform complements current monitoring methods, and has the ability to determine a cancer therapy’s effectiveness earlier than those methods for many patients, allowing clinicians the opportunity to refine treatment options.”

The novel assay aims to detect a patient’s tumour signature, allowing for personalised results to guide treatment decisions through blood and tumour tissue samples.

Invitae co-founder and CEO Sean George said: “We are excited about PCM availability globally, as this is an evolving area where we have invested over the last year and we believe has the potential to give patients the information needed to understand their recurrence risk to fight and beat the disease.”