Roche (OTC: RHHBY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Device Designation to the Elecsys® GALAD score.* This algorithmic score combines gender and age with the biomarker results of the Elecsys AFP, AFP-L3 and PIVKA-II and is intended to aid diagnosis of early stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Dr. Amit Singal, Medical Director of the Liver Tumor Program and Clinical Chief of Pathology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, USA, stated, "HCC is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, with the highest burden of disease in East Asia and Africa. This high mortality is largely driven by most patients being detected at a late stage, when curative therapies are no longer possible. Therefore, improving early HCC detection is a critical area of need."
The Elecsys GALAD score will be the first GALAD score, with regulatory approval, for use in In Vitro Diagnostics and is an integral part of the Roche Diagnostics Liver Indication Program, which aims to improve diagnostic workflows throughout chronic liver disease management. Combined with ultrasound, the Elecsys GALAD score has the potential to support clinicians by giving them more accurate information at an earlier stage, thus improving patient outcomes while being minimally invasive for people and potentially also more affordable to healthcare systems.
Liver cancer is one of the few cancers that are on the rise.2 While recent developments in screening and new treatments are making advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HCC, clinicians still face challenges in diagnosing the disease early enough. Only 44% of liver cancer patients are diagnosed at an early stage.3 Of HCC patients, which are diagnosed with late-stage disease, less than 16% survive a period of 5 years. Of the patients diagnosed at an early stage, 70% percent are still alive after five years1. Therefore, diagnosing HCC, as early as possible, is essential to improving patient outcomes.
"We are excited about FDA's recognition of the potential clinical benefit the Elecsys GALAD score could bring in diagnosing hepatocellular cancer at an early stage," said Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics. "The combination of blood-based biomarkers with clinical algorithms has the potential to significantly reduce mortality of HCC patients as they can receive a more timely diagnosis and treatment."