AstraZeneca & Roche Diagnostics to improve diagnostic testing for breast cancer patients in India

12 December 2023 | News

Comprehensive training initiatives for pathologists and medical oncologists will be imparted

AstraZeneca Pharma India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Roche Diagnostics India to improve diagnostics for breast cancer patients with a key focus to streamlining HER2 diagnostics with newer advancements in the field.

Breast cancer, globally the most prevalent cancer among women, takes a critical turn when transitioning to metastatic stages, accounting for 30% of post-diagnosis cases and constituting a primary cause of breast cancer-related fatalities.

Vital to patient care is the reassessment of biomarkers, specifically HER2, guiding crucial treatment decisions. The 15% to 20% of cases identified as HER2 positive present opportunities for targeted therapies, with advancements in HER2 testing continually optimizing its clinical application since the 1980s.

In 2020, it was estimated that breast cancer claims nearly 700,000 lives worldwide each year and that there would be over 2.2 million new cases.  Approximately half of all patients with breast cancer (mBC) express low levels of HER2. These patients with HER2 low status may now be eligible for a targeted treatment, which could significantly improve their outcomes.     

The new initiative is focused on advancements in HER2 testing standardisation and reporting. As per the partnership, comprehensive training initiatives for pathologists and medical oncologists will be imparted. Training modules designed for oncologists will cover advances in HER-2 testing and HER-2 low interpretations.

The collaboration aims to address existing diagnostic challenges, reduce turnaround times, and elevate the overall patient experience, reinforcing the pivotal role of diagnostics in shaping effective treatment strategies for metastatic breast cancer patients in India.


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