OncQuestAn effective tool for predicting therapeutic response of Irinotecan in colorectal cancers
After building trust with its innovative diagnostic tools, OncQuest Laboratories Ltd. – the pioneer in the Indian Oncology clinical testing, today announced the launch of UGT1A1 Genotyping for determining therapeutic response of Irinotecan, a chemotherapy drug which has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration, USA (US – FDA) as a second line therapy to treat colorectal cancer that has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) or has recurred (come back) or gotten worse after earlier chemotherapy. 

OncQuest’s new technologically advanced clinical and research laboratory is fully equipped with molecular technologies allowing for rapid advancement in the complex field of theranostics, pharmacogenomics, companion diagnostics, proteomics, bioinformatics & biomarker studies.
Irinotecan, a prodrug, to exert its anticancerous effects require conversion to an active drug SN-38 in the body.A carboxyl esterase-converting enzyme helps this conversion. i.e. uridine di -phosphate glucuronosyl transferase 1 A1 (UGT1A1).
UGT1A1 is responsible for the clearance of irinotecan by glucuronidation.thus preventing toxicity of Irinotecan. However,It has been seen that genetic variations in UGT1A1 enzyme are responsible for its decreased activity, accumulation of SN-38 in the body resulting in irinotecan- dose related toxic effects including grade (3/4) neutropenia, diarrhoea, and asthenia.which at times are fatal.

Hence, determining the variations in the gene encoding for uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) may help predict which patients are most likely to develop these irinotecan-related toxic effects.

US FDA has approved UGT1A1 testing before starting Irinotecan on a patient, which could help in

  1. Guiding the selection of appropriate starting dosages of Irinotecan, 
  2. Reducing the risk of severe drug accumulation toxic effects and
  3. Improving the chances that therapy could be maintained. 

Speaking on the launch occasion, Mr. Aditya Burman, Managing Director, OncQuest Laboratories said, “OncQuest has always led the Indian Oncology medical testing domain with its cutting-edge diagnostics technology. UGT1A1 Genotyping is another effort from OncQuest to continue building on our expertise. This analysis has also been recommended & approved by US FDA before starting Irinotecan in metastatic colorectal cancer patients. Analysis of genetic variations in UGT1A1 enzyme helps the clinicians in recommending the right dosage of irinotecan & advising its ideal combination therapy with other drugs. We will continue to bring more effective tests to equip the clinicians in their endeavor to save lives.”

These tests will be available at all the patient service centers of OncQuest including 45 major towns in India, Colombo and Kathmandu.

About OncQuest Laboratories:

OncQuest started its operations to serve more patients & doctors in the year 2002. A key element of OncQuest’s services has been in establishing several new technologies and making these commercially available for the first time in India. OncQuest has introduced a number of techniques to evaluate the structure of DNA, RNA and Proteins in cells.

The most common methods used in the clinical setting include: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR); Real Time PCR; Fluorescent – In – Situ – Hybridization (FISH); Cytogenetics; Flowcytometry; Immunohistochemistry & Routine Surgical Pathology.

OncQuest’s Mission is to extend survival and improve quality of life of cancer patients by providing scientifically advanced, cost-effective branded molecular testing algorithms to help doctors and patients to optimize cancer care and diagnose cancer at an early stage of malignancy. OncQuest’s vision is to be the reference laboratory of choice for Cancer health care systems, as the most responsive source of quality information and knowledge.