Simple Blood Test Could Help CLL Patients Live Longer

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A new lab test that can improve survival rates among patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL/SLL) has become available for U.S. patients.

According to developer SignatureCLL, the test, known as SignatuRx, can reduce early death among CLL patients by as much as one year by guiding physicians on which course of treatment to take following relapse.

A 'less invasive' therapy

The test was vetted in a 777-patient randomized clinical trial among relapsed CLL patients. It selectively determines the most promising personalized chemotherapy treatment for each patient. In the trial, those patients whose second-line therapy was not determined by the test were twice as likely to die within the first year following relapse as those whose second-line therapy was determined.

Never before has such a test shown, in a randomized clinical trial, the ability to reduce cancer deaths over any time period.

The test works by obtaining a blood sample and then exposing cancer cells within the blood to as many as 30 different chemotherapy drugs and combinations of chemotherapy drugs. It is a far less invasive method of targeted therapy, in which hit-and-miss and one-size-fits-all often rule the day.

Doctors can easily order the test, and the patient's blood samples are overnighted to a California-based laboratory. Results can be in the doctor's hands in about one week's time.

Source: SignatureCLL

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