A research team at Konkuk University’s School of Medicine has developed a new gene testing method for lung cancer, and U.K. science journal Research Outreach recently introduced the findings.
The team consists of Lee Kye-young, head of the precision medicine lung cancer center, Hur Jae-young, a professor at the pathology department, and Professor Kim Hee-jeong of the pulmonary medicine department.
The researchers said Friday they had developed a new test method to detect EGFR (Epithermal Growth Factor Receptor) gene mutation using extracellular vesicle (EV) DNA which was isolated from the body fluid, for the first time in the world.
There are various kinds of gene mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for around 85 percent of lung cancer cases. In Korea, 40 percent of patients with NSCLC have EGFR mutations.
The research team’s new diagnostic method is liquid biopsy using EV DNA in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Compared with a conventional biopsy that invasively extracts DNA from a tissue sample, the new method is highly sensitive and accurate to detect EGFR mutations, the researchers said.
As the new testing uses the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, it is non-invasive, and the test result comes out within a day.
In November, the research team obtained the local patent on testing. The team is conducting a clinical study approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.