The first molecular test kit that can predict treatment and
survival outcomes in kidney cancer patients has been co-developed by
researchers and doctors at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
(IBN), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore
The researchers have developed a practical, eight-gene assay which is able
to determine the particular subtype of the measured Clear cell renal cell carcinoma
They performed a whole-genome expression analysis on samples with material
from 55 ccRCC patients, and compiled the results into different categories,
with different probable responses to treatment.
The assay may be used to distinguish
patients into groups with different survival and treatment outcomes, by
comparing their particular ccRCC profile to the research conducted in the
Patients suffering from renal cell carcinoma may benefit from this
technology, as it may determine the potential for a successful anti-angiogenic
TKI (tyrosine-kinase inhibitor-
a pharmaceutical drug that inhibits tyrosine kinases. Tyrosine kinases are
enzymes responsible for the activation of many proteins by signal transduction
well as the survival potential of the patient. In light of the high price of
TKIs, and the threat of potential side-effects, the test kit could prove to be
a highly beneficial piece of technology.
IBN Executive Director Professor Jackie Y. Ying said,
"By combining our expertise in molecular diagnostics and cancer research,
we have developed the first genetic test to help doctors prescribe the
appropriate treatment for kidney cancer patients based on their tumor
Dr. Min-Han Tan, who is IBN Team Leader and Principal
Research Scientist and a visiting consultant at the Division of Medical
Oncology NCCS, shared further details about the invention and his motivation.
"As a practicing oncologist, I have treated many patients with kidney
cancer. I see the high costs of cancer care, the unpredictable outcomes and
occasional futility of even the best available drugs. This bitter experience
inspired our development of this assay to improve all these for patients."