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FDA Clears Test that Helps Identify Type of Cancer in Tumor Sample

Posted Aug 03 2008 4:03pm

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared for marketing a test that can help health care professionals determine what type of cancer cells are present in a malignant tumor.

The Pathwork Tissue of Origin test compares the genetic material of a patient’s tumor with genetic information on malignant tumor types stored in a database.

It uses a microarray technology to analyze thousands of pieces of genetic material at one time. The test considers 15 common malignant tumor types, including bladder, breast, and colorectal tumors.

“The clearance of the Pathwork test is another step in the continued integration of molecular-based medicine into standard practice,” said Daniel Schultz, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, which oversees medical diagnostics. “In the past, scientists have classified different types of cancers based on the organs in which the tumors develop. With the help of microarray technology, they will be able to classify these types of cancers in a standardized non-reader dependent manner based on the patterns of gene activity in the tumor cells.”

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