The question had come from his boss. It was around the beginning of 2017, and the director of research for the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins asked Dr. Gonzalo Torga, a postdoctoral fellow, which of two genomic tests they should offer to their prostate cancer patients as a way of determining eligibility for certain drugs. Torga wasn’t sure, so his boss suggested they test the tests: Order a liquid biopsy from both companies for a number of patients, and then compare the results.

Their findings, the Hopkins scientists say, were disconcerting: In many cases, the two tests gave conflicting results for the same patient. They published their comparison in JAMA Oncology in December, arguing that they needed to warn other clinicians that these tests don’t give standard results. But the companies in question retort that this warning is based on sloppy study design and could mean that patients don’t get offered potentially helpful tests.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT Plus is a premium subscription that delivers daily market-moving biopharma coverage and in-depth science reporting from a team with decades of industry experience.

What's included?

  • Authoritative biopharma coverage and analysis, interviews with industry pioneers, policy analysis, and first looks at cutting edge laboratories and early stage research
  • Subscriber-only networking events and panel discussions across the country
  • Monthly subscriber-only live chats with our reporters and experts in the field
  • Discounted tickets to industry events and early-bird access to industry reports

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

Sign up for our Daily Recap newsletter

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy