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Cancer patients face delays getting potentially lifesaving biomarker tests

4 February, 2019

  • Diaceutics announces results of patient research as it sponsors UICC’s World Cancer Day
  • Partnership aims to help spread patient awareness of precision medicine and associated biomarker tests
  • New Diaceutics research finds just 28% of cancer patients who received biomarker tests in last three years were tested in the immediate aftermath of diagnosis
  • 63% of patients also indicated difficulty understanding biomarkers

Belfast, Monday 4th February 2019 – Diaceutics, the diagnostics data analytics and implementation services company, today announces that it is partnering with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) as a Visionary Partner of World Cancer Day, a global initiative led by UICC annually on 4th February. The partnership will allow Diaceutics and its non-profit arm, the Precision Medicine Connective, to spread awareness of precision medicine, and the importance of early and accurate diagnostic testing, through UICC’s 1000+ global membership network, 38% of which are patient advocacy groups.

New research from Diaceutics has found that cancer patients are facing delays in getting biomarker tests which, if conducted early and efficiently, can determine patients’ eligibility for more targeted – and potentially lifesaving – treatments. The research, carried out among US and UK-based cancer patients diagnosed in the last three years, found that of those who were tested for biomarkers, just 28% were tested in the immediate aftermath of their diagnosis. A further 39% said the tests took place ‘a few weeks’ later, while 14% said it was ‘a few months’ after diagnosis.

The research also found that 63% of cancer patients found the concept of biomarkers, mutations and genetic tests more difficult to understand than information about diagnosis and tests, treatments, risk factors and treatment side effects. However, there is an eagerness among cancer patients to learn more – 70% said they would like to know more about biomarkers, mutations and genetic tests above all other topics. 

Peter Keeling, founder and CEO of Diaceutics and the Precision Medicine Connective, said: “What’s interesting from our research is that just 48% of patients said they are familiar with the term ‘precision medicine’, despite the fact that 60% report being tested for biomarkers. So while they know targeted therapies exist, they are unfamiliar with all of the terminology. In order to effectively empower patients, we need to ensure they are speaking the same language as their physicians and that is something that we will work with the whole cancer community to address.”

A key focus of this year’s World Cancer Day is the need for early stage cancer detection, screening and diagnosis to significantly improve patient outcomes. Since it was established in 2005, Diaceutics has worked with pharmaceutical companies and its worldwide network of laboratories to help more patients get the right medication at the right time through better, more efficient diagnostic testing.

Peter Keeling said: “This year’s World Cancer Day highlights the need for early diagnosis and screening – something that we are very passionate about at Diaceutics. We carried out research previously that found that 156,000 cancer patients in the US and Europe could be missing out on lifesaving drugs every year because of suboptimal diagnostic testing. Timing is everything when it comes to a cancer diagnosis, so we are delighted to be partnering with UICC this World Cancer Day to raise awareness and help patients take more control of their treatment options.”

Dr Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control, said: “We are very excited about this new collaboration between UICC and Diaceutics. It is so important to partner with companies like Diaceutics who are making a difference. 

“This year’s focus on World Cancer Day is the importance of early detection in the battle against cancer and that is at the heart of what Diaceutics does. We look forward to working together to raise awareness and stem the tide of the increasing number of cancer deaths around the world.” 

About the research
This research was carried out by Diaceutics, which surveyed a total of 60 cancer patients (30 in the US and 30 in the UK) between the ages of 19 and 89. Patients had been diagnosed in the last 3 years and participated in the survey from January 8 – 22, 2019. The results cited are aggregated totals from all respondents.

About the Union for International Cancer Control
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the largest and oldest international cancer-fighting organisation. Founded in Geneva in 1933, UICC has over 1,100 members in 170 countries, enjoys consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) and has official relations with the following institutions: WHO, IARC, IAEA, UNODC. UICC has over 50 partners, including associations working to fight cancer, as well as companies and foundations. UICC is a founding member of the NCD Alliance, McCabe Centre, ICCP and City Cancer Challenge.

UICC’s mission is to unite and support the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, to promote greater equality and to ensure that the cancer control continues to be a priority in the world health and development agenda. Its main areas of activity focus on convening the world’s leaders for innovative, wide-reaching, cancer-control events and initiatives; building capacity to meet regional needs; and developing awareness campaigns

#WorldCancerDay #IAmAndIWill

About Diaceutics

At Diaceutics we believe that every patient should get the precision medicine they deserve. We are a data analytics and end-to-end services provider enabled by DXRX - the world’s first Network solution for the development and commercialization of precision medicine diagnostics. 

Diaceutics has worked on every precision medicine brought to market and provides services to 36 of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. We have built the world’s largest repository of diagnostic testing data with a growing network of 2500 labs in 51 countries.

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