Castle’s Genetic Test, in Combo with AJCC’s Online Tool, Helped Identify High-Risk Melanomas

Castle’s Genetic Test, in Combo with AJCC’s Online Tool, Helped Identify High-Risk Melanomas

Results from a study assessing risk prediction using DecisionDx-Melanoma have shown that the gene test can significantly improve the identification of Stage 1 and 2 melanoma in patients at high-risk for recurrence, or for developing, metastatic disease, if used in combination with the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) online prognostic tool.

The paper is titled “Identification of High Risk Cutaneous Melanoma Tumors is Improved When Combining the Online AJCC Melanoma Patient Outcome Prediction Tool with a 31-Gene Expression Profile-Based Classification” and was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Castle Biosciences is a provider of molecular diagnostics to improve cancer treatment decisions. DecisionDx-Melanoma is the company’s gene expression profile (GEP) test.

AJCC’s clinical staging system, using the Individualized Melanoma Patient Outcome Prediciton online prognostic tool, is generally used by clinicians to simulate survival rates for patients with Stage 1 and 2 melanoma based on tumor depth, ulceration status, location, and patient’s age.

The study was designed to compare independent prediction of risk by DecisionDx-Melanoma or the AJCC’s system, and the potential utility of combining the results of the two prognostic tools.

By analyzing the records of 205 melanoma patients (109 Stage 1, and 96 Stage 2), across six centers in the U.S., the team concluded that the DecisionDx-Melanoma test was a strong independent predictor of risk and that combining the results of the two prognosticators enhanced sensitivity, reflecting a more accurate identification of patients at high risk of developing Stage 1 or 2 melanoma.

“For physicians and patients, the risk assessment provided by the GEP test may ultimately lead to earlier identification of metastatic disease when tumor burden is lower and the disease is potentially more treatable,” said Laura Ferris, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, in a press release. “This information is vital in determining the best possible follow-up care plans for patients to ensure that their intensity of surveillance is appropriate for their individual risk of melanoma recurrence,” she said.

“Traditionally, the patients in this study whose tumor was determined to be more aggressive than AJCC staging had predicted would have received less intensive surveillance plans than appropriate for their individual risk of recurrence. Importantly they may have missed the opportunity for enhanced surveillance to identify recurrence of disease earlier,” said Derek Maetzold, president and chief executive officer of Castle Biosciences.

“Incorporation of the DecisionDx-Melanoma test with current staging methods may offer the ability to identify the majority of patients at risk for metastasis and death who could potentially benefit from early therapeutic intervention due to enhanced surveillance efforts,” Maetzold said.

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