Providing Personalized, Tumor-specific Information
We are dedicated to helping cancer patients and their healthcare providers make more accurate treatment plan decisions. Nearly all treatment plan decisions for patients diagnosed with skin cancers is based upon the expected risk of metastasis or recurrence – also called prognosis.
Traditionally, these treatment decisions have been based solely on clinical and pathology factors, such as the thickness or width of your tumor, other features like ulceration or evidence the tumor may have spread to a sentinel lymph node, or SLN. Physicians use these factors to group, or stage, patients into stage-related populations. The average risk of metastasis within a population then guides treatment decisions for all patients within a respective population. However, an individual patient’s risk of metastasis can be significantly different from these stage-related population averages, thereby resulting in some patients receiving unnecessary medical and surgical interventions and some patients being undertreated. This treatment paradigm has led to suboptimal patient care and unnecessary costs to the healthcare system.
We use the biological behavior, as measured through the activity or expression of genes, from your specific tumor to identify the risk of recurrence or metastasis. This biological behavior has been shown to be an independent predictor of your specific tumor’s risk of recurrence, that is, the information is independent of what your healthcare provider and pathologist may see clinically or upon evaluation of your tumor biopsy under a microscope.
Helping You and Your Doctor Make Better Treatment Decisions
Healthcare providers can use our test results to consider changing the direction of the treatment plan that was considered when solely relying upon clinical and pathology factors only. In the case of our test for use in cutaneous melanoma, DecisionDx®-Melanoma, four out of four studies have shown that the treatment plan considered before our test results are incorporated changes 50% of the time – or rather every one of two tests results in a change in the treatment plan.
Our Current Tests Focus on Two Diseases:
Approximately 100,000 patients are diagnosed each year with cutaneous melanoma, which we believe is underreported.
Treatment plan decisions made just after the time of diagnosis of melanoma are based on the risk of recurrence or metastasis as estimated from traditional clinical and pathology factors. These factors may lead to a recommendation to perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy surgical procedure – which is a prognostic procedure to gain additional information on the likelihood of your tumor’s risk of metastasis. Unfortunately, these traditional factors often miss many early stage (Stage I and II) patients who later develop aggressive metastatic disease. In fact, two out of three patients who develop metastatic disease and die from their primary melanoma tumor were initially classified as Stage I or II, many of whom received an SLN-negative biopsy result following SLNB surgery.
DecisionDx-Melanoma is designed to identify those tumors at high risk of recurrence as well as at low risk of recurrence, thereby enabling their doctors make more informed treatment plan decisions – some of which may lead to an increase in actions and some of which may lead to a decrease.
Only a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner can order Castle Biosciences’ diagnostic and prognostic tests.