AACR: Adela’s multi-cancer blood test shows promise in detecting early stage tumors

April 19, 2023

Adela's platform, discovered at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, can spot 12 different types of cancer, including many in their early stages

AACR: Adela’s multi-cancer blood test shows promise in detecting early stage tumors

Adela's presentation at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) in April of 2023 focused on the ability of its genome-wide methylome enrichment platform, first discovered at UHN, to detect a broad set of diverse cancers in early stages, when treatment can be most effective.

Canadian newcomer Adela has shown that its test for detecting the faint traces of cancer in the bloodstream could spot 12 different types of the disease, including many in their early stages when they have the best chances of being treated. The Toronto-based startup presented the results of a retrospective study at the annual meeting of American Association for Cancer Research in Orlando, Florida, based on an analysis of archived blood samples from about 4,000 patients.

The different cancers included bladder, breast, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, kidney, head and neck, and the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts.

Adela’s approach aims to isolate and capture the state of methylation across the cancer genome using a machine learning algorithm—but without pre-treatment with chemicals or enzymes that may damage genetic material, and without needing to decode the entire sequence of DNA—to hopefully make its methods more cost-effective.

The company said its preliminary study results showed its test could tell the difference between blood samples that had evidence of cancer and those that didn’t 94% of the time, including all cancer types and stages.

About half of the samples with cancer were in stage I and stage II, and were correctly spotted 92% and 95% of the time, respectively. Stage III and IV cancers were identified at rates of 95% and 97%.

“Cancers that shed a high amount of [cell-free DNA] had the best performance, but even cancers that are typically difficult to detect with cfDNA assays were detected with high performance in this interim readout,” said Park, who added that the findings will need to be confirmed in more prospective studies before the test will reach patients.

Adela is currently enrolling more than 5,000 U.S. participants for an observational study, including people with tumors types that contribute to more than 90% of cancer cases and more than 85% of cancer deaths, as well as control groups of people without a diagnosis.

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Source Fierce Biotech - Conor Hale

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