Last Updated : February 27, 2024
Companion diagnostics tests support the expansion of personalized medicine by assessing predictive biomarkers, such as genetic variation or protein expression, in individual people to determine the safe and effective use of an associated therapy. They are often developed for a particular condition and assess specific genetic mutations or biomarkers rather than sequencing the whole genome or exome, which is substantially more costly.
Emerging companion diagnostics that use circulating tumour DNA samples present within a person’s blood also provide a less invasive, quicker, and potentially safer alternative to assessing biomarkers compared to traditional tissue biopsies. Increasingly, targeted cancer therapies are being co-developed with companion diagnostics to better inform early detection and treatment decisions that can improve patient outcomes and reduce adverse effects.
Despite the growth of companion diagnostics, a barrier to adoption in Canada has been their re-imbursement and delivery across health systems. It will be important to continue evaluating the evidence on the real-world impact on patient outcomes, diagnostic accuracy, and cost-effectiveness for health systems. To help advance this work, CADTH developed guidance for the economic evaluation treatments with companion diagnostics.
Examples of emerging companion diagnostics technologies include: