Launch of Strand LB cancer test portfolioStanding from left to right: Dr. Ramesh Hariharan, Dr. Vijay Chandru, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Dr. Sharath Damodhar, and Dr. Aditya Chaubey launching Strand LB test portfolio.

by Dr. Rashmi Chaturvedi Upadhyay

Four years of extensive research studies alongside stringent validation runs made it possible for scientists at Strand Life Science to present their new liquid biopsy test portfolio which can be used as a surveillance and monitoring tool by oncologists to determine a possible tumor growing somewhere in the body, often yet undetected by other screening methods. Strand is one of the first genetic diagnostics companies in India to offer this test for a wide panel of genes.

At the official launch of Strand’s portfolio of Strand LB liquid biopsy tests, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Strand, Dr. Vijay Chandru said: “This tool can provide early information about tumor presence, relapse after therapy and response to therapy. Strand LB tests ensure that while the tumor presence and profiling are carried out as needed during therapy, there is a minimal amount of discomfort to the patients.” Typically, most of the tumors are detected and analyzed by tissue biopsy or PET scans. Sometimes, acquiring sufficient tissue sample from the cancer site is very challenging due to the location of the tumor. Detecting tumor DNA by means of a liquid biopsy test requires highly sensitive test runs capable of detecting even 1 mutated molecule of DNA among 1000 non-mutated molecules. Scientists at Strand recommend for the Strand LB tests to be used to identify a wide variety of cancers, such as lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer. Strand LB is capable of detecting cancer in as many as 35% of the patients with early stage cancer going up to 70-90% of patients suffering from an advanced stage of cancer.

The Strand LB tests are the result of a collaboration between the scientific teams at Strand Life Sciences and those at Mazumdar Shaw Centre for Translational Research (MSCTR). These tests were then validated by clinicians at Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, a part of Narayana Health. Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw who was the chief guest at the event to officially launch the Strand LB tests said, “Innovations like liquid biopsy are a colossal leap forward and having our own liquid biopsy test can give gigantic advantages towards cancer care and treatment in India.”

Liquid biopsy diagnostics can be used to track a patient over time to understand their response to the targeted therapy. Moreover, liquid biopsy detection is not self-limiting like PET scans which harbor the danger of overexposing a patient to radioactivity which can negatively influence the outcome of recovery from cancer. This test will be offered at a competitive price to ensure that affordability is not an issue for most cancer patients. As indicated by Strand’s CEO, Dr. Ramesh Hariharan, one of the biggest challenges was making the Strand LB tests affordable while preserving its high sensitivity and strong validation.

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