By Maggie Frampton
Health Sciences North Research Institute Scientist and Laurentian University Professor Dr. Amadeo Parissenti announced the launch of an international clinical trial (BREVITY) to validate the use of the RNA Disruption Assay™ (RDA™) tool for treatment and management of breast cancer in North America and Europe. The trial has been designed in collaboration with key opinion leaders in breast oncology and funded by Rna Diagnositcs, Inc., for which Dr. Parissenti serves as Chief Scientific Officer.
The clinical trial will include 500+ patients with invasive breast cancer, scheduled to receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy (drug treatment prior to surgery), in 40 centres across Europe and North America, including Sudbury’s Northeast Cancer Centre. RDA is a diagnostic test measuring tumor response 14 days after the 1st cycle of treatment during neoadjuvant chemotherapy. It is expected to become a critical tool for managing response-guided therapy.
“I am delighted that so many highly regarded clinical research groups worldwide are participating in the BREVITY trial. This speaks highly of the strong potential that RDA has to better manage the care of cancer patients through its ability to monitor response and predict survival after neoadjuvant chemotherapy”, says Dr. Amadeo Parissenti, Scientist at HSNRI. “Using RDA to identify patients with chemo-resistant tumours early in treatment could help reduce the toxic side effects from ineffective chemotherapy drugs, while permitting patients to move rapidly to alternate treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, or other drugs.”
Northeastern Ontario has significantly higher rates of cancer incidence and mortality than the rest of Ontario. “The launch of this international trial is an important step for breast cancer research. This research by Dr. Parissenti and Dr. Guo will help provide personalized treatment solutions for patients as part of their cancer journey in the North and internationally”, says Dr. Janet McElhaney, Scientific Director, Health Sciences North Research Institute.
“The BREVITY clinical trial is another significant step forward in potentially improving the quality of life and survival in breast cancer patients,” said Dr. Rui Wang, Vice President of Research at Laurentian University. “This study would independently confirm the groundbreaking discovery made by Dr. Parissenti and his research team to help physicians personalize cancer treatment for their patients. Laurentian University is proud of the accomplishments of Rna Diagnostics and we look forward to future achievements.”
RDA was developed by Laurentian University and NOSM professor Dr. Amadeo Parissenti and his research associate Dr. Baoqing Guo of Health Sciences North Research Institute. The University has licensed the technology exclusively to RNA Diagnostics Inc., a Canadian molecular diagnostics company that develops diagnostic tools to improve chemotherapy management. RNA Diagnostics is establishing a state-of-the-art reference laboratory at the Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI) in Sudbury. It gratefully acknowledges its “northern” supporters, including its Sudbury investors, the Northern Cancer Foundation, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the Industrial Research Assistance Program and FedNor.
Maggie Frampton is a Communications Specialist at Health Sciences North.