Roche launches new ProGRP test for more precise diagnosis in lung cancer

Posted: 18 July 2013 | | No comments yet

Roche announced the global launch of Elecsys ProGRP…

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Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced the global launch (except US) of Elecsys ProGRP, a test that distinguishes between the two main types of lung cancer – small cell (SCLC) and non-small cell (NSCLC) lung cancer – and can help diagnose early-stage SCLC. Correct differential diagnosis in lung cancer is important, as the two types have different prognoses and must be treated differently: early-stage NSCLC can be cured by surgery, while SCLC is treated with chemo- and radiotherapy. Studies have shown that ProGRP as a standalone test is superior to the current standard neuron-specific enolase (NSE)1) test and that measuring both ProGRP and NSE enhances diagnostic accuracy.

The ProGRP test from Roche is the first which can be determined in serum or plasma. This allows a combined application with NSE from a single sample tube. Healthcare professionals benefit from ProGRP by improved determination of the histological subtype if biopsy results are unclear.

“As a leader in oncology, Roche is committed to providing reliable diagnostic tests to enable earlier detection of cancer,” said Roland Diggelmann, COO Division Roche Diagnostics. “Until now, patients with SCLC have usually been diagnosed only when the disease has reached an advanced stage, when the chances of a cure are very low. ProGRP meets a medical need for more precise diagnosis, supporting medical decision making and helping healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes.”

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Approximately 1.35 million new cases are diagnosed every year, representing almost 13% of all new cancer diagnoses. Smoking is the main risk factor. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is particularly aggressive, spreading rapidly to lymph nodes and other organs.

About the ProGRP test

Progastrin-releasing peptide (ProGRP) is a biomarker which is overexpressed in SCLC, with elevated levels occurring primarily in the blood of patients with this form of lung cancer. The ProGRP test is an important diagnostic tool, as it can help clinicians determine the appropriate treatment pathway. Studies have shown that ProGRP can also identify early-stage SCLC2) and help to distinguish SCLC from benign lung diseases3).

The Elecsys ProGRP test, for use on Roche’s cobas modular analysers, can be used with serum or plasma. ProGRP and NSE can therefore be determined in serum from a single sample tube. As NSE cannot be measured in plasma, this unique feature improves workflow and efficiency in the laboratory if measurement of both ProGRP and NSE is necessary.


  1. Tumour Biol. 2009: 30, 121-129
  2. Clin. Chem. Lab. Med. 2011, 49, 1039-1046.
  3. Oncology & Hematology 2011, 26, 625-630

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