The Greenville Health System Cancer Institute and KIYATEC, a Greenville-based biomedical company, have announced a new partnership to provide ovarian cancer patients with access to series of diagnostic tests that can indicate how their tumors respond to chemotherapy drugs.
Researchers hope the tests will reduce the need for patients to undergo treatments that may not work or cause pain, according to a press release.
“Human cells are as unique as the patients themselves, so you really need to see the way those cells interact with given drugs to know for certain what treatment will work,” said Matthew Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC. “By placing each patient’s cancer cells in conditions that mimic the actual human body, we can drill down to drug effect on the cellular level and establish the connection between the results we see in the lab and the response we hope to see in the patients.”
KIYATEC develops predictive diagnostic tests by using the patient’s own cells, which are placed in a three-dimensional cell culture and exposed to various cancer-treatment drugs at differing concentrations to determine their response level. The response level within the culture is then used to make an informed prediction of patient responsiveness to a given treatment option.
Gevaert said the test is the result of a nearly six-year study, which in initial analysis has yielded 93 percent accuracy. KIYATEC received support from the GHS Institute for Translational Oncology Research, where its offices and labs are located.
“KIYATEC’s three-dimensional cancer models may well allow clinicians to predict drug choice for cancer patients with greater precision and speed. Additionally, these same models can help companies develop new drugs with less expense,” said Dr. W. Jeffrey Edenfield, medical director of the GHS Institute for Translational Oncology Research.
Ovarian cancer patients at the GHS Cancer Institute will be the first to benefit from these tests through clinical studies, according to a press release. Patients who choose to participate in the studies will have their results used to help inform patient treatment decisions.
KIYATEC plans to offer the tests to patients with other cancers within the coming year.