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Travera

jsniffs
jsniffs Member Posts: 135

I may be overly optimistic, but I feel like I cannot share info about Travera enough.

Travera testing can help to predict which cancer drugs are likely or unlikely to work for you. HOW AMAZING IS THIS? You might not have to go through the side effects, waiting, anxiety, etc. to wonder if a particular drug is going to work and only have it fail. You can see on a report which drug may be the most effective for you and this point in time. It might be a drug that worked for you in the past. It might be a drug that you hadn't considered.

The technology is based on cell-weight (dead cells weigh less). They can now test malignant fluids or solid tumors (solid tumor testing was recently added). They are still working to tweak the technology, but they think it is about 80% accurate based on small studies.

From their website (travera.com): "Travera EarlyAccess™ is also available through a no-cost, nation-wide clinical study, and other financial assistance is available."

I have not used Travera yet, and I'm sure it is not perfect. However, the potential is huge. I will be trying to use them if and when I next need a biopsy.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has used their technology.

Comments

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135

    Note, antibody-drug-conjugates (ADCs) are not yet offered for testing by Travera. They are working on it and hope for them to be available soon, but they do not have an exact timeline. They plan to notify me when they become available. I would expect that the testing for ADCs would be of great benefit to a lot of people.

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135
    edited April 2023

    I just had a biopsy recently and part of it was submitted for Travera testing. The company is very engaged and has exceptional customer service. The doctor performing the biopsy also had great things to say. Stay tuned for results!

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 736
    edited April 2023

    jsniffs,

    What tissue was biopsied - bone, skin? Please keep us informed of your results and your doctor's decisions. I'm going to ask about the test at my next appt.

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135
    edited April 2023

    Weninwi - It was breast. My skin mets on my chest/breast were not responding to Elacestrant (so that confirmed to me the receptor status of triple neg of those was actually accurate...it had been a bit suspicious). Radiation had been suggested as a possible option to spot treat the skin and stay on Elacestrant. However, upon further breast imaging, I have what appears to be an active breast tumor and possible lymph node invasion. Therefore, it looks like spot treatment is out for now, and I need to figure out how to change my systemic. It's a bummer as Elacestrant had minimal side effects for me, but I'm hopeful that the Travera test will help me to decide what to do next. I don't know yet if Elacestrant has been working on my liver/bone mets, but my tumor markers have been stable.

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 736
    edited April 2023

    jfniffs,

    I'm sorry to hear of the new progression in your breast....now after skin mets. Certainly hope the Travera test proves helpful in pointing to an effective treatment. Does sound like you have a good MO who is actively engaged. Did you have a mammogram or did the new tumor show up on chest CT? I've asked my MO about repeat mammograms after Stage 4 and she has said "not needed" as any new tumor in either breast would show up on CT scan. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135
    edited April 2023

    Weninwi - I had suspicions that there was something going on in the breast for a bit, but it coincided with other progression. Therefore, multiple MOs and I assumed, if there was something, it would be similar to what was going on in my liver. The breast tumor wasn't obvious on the CT, but did show up on a mammogram and ultrasound. The radiation onc said it could have been masked by my lumpectomy scar tissue. The skin mets did show on the CT, which surprised me. I'm not sure if repeat mammograms are necessary for MBC unless there are issues, but maybe my situation highlights the need? My MO is generally very good with follow-up. However, trying to get to the bottom of everything with all of the different mets locations has led to delays with all the different depts/specialists. Luckily, Travera should be getting results back rather quickly (should be in a matter of days). Thanks for all your support!

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 736
    edited April 2023

    I called Travera yesterday seeking more information and got a call back today from one of the leading Reps. He spent considerable time explaining the Travera test and sent me more information via email. The Travera test is for patients who currently have experienced progression and need to find a new treatment. Travera needs a fresh biopsy and they test the tissue against 20 drugs to determine which drugs would be effective. Results in two days. They are currently running a national clinical trial that includes No Cost for the test. The patient or patient's insurance would need to cover the cost of the biopsy. Travera needs a medical order and needs to communicate directly with the doctor, in part to assure special handling of the biopsy tissue.

    4/23/23 Update: fresh biopsy from metastatic fluids, or soft tissue, but not bone.

  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561
    edited April 2023

    Weninwi- can Travers do the test on bone biopsy?

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 736
    edited April 2023

    nkb,

    The Travera Rep told me they take biopsies from soft tissue only, not bone. I'm not sure if they also take liquid biopsies or malignant fluids. 4/23/23 Update: malignant fluids, yes. Not sure about liquid blood biopsy obtained, for example, for the Guardant360 test.

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135
    edited April 2023

    Travera originally could only take malignant fluids (pleural and ascites), but then expanded to solid tumors (from soft tissues) earlier this year. They need to gather enough live cancer cells to do their tests on. I had 5 samples removed from my breast during the biopsy for Travera. I also had 3 samples sent to the hospital pathology lab for regular review and tumor marker testing.

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 736
    edited April 2023

    jsniffs,

    Was further surgery on the breast with new mets discussed?

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 736
    edited April 2023

    To All interested in Travera,

    I recommend that you contact Travera individually to gather more information if you're interested in the test. Their phone number is at the bottom of their webpage. You can also email them. The test is for patients who have progressed and need a treatment change. When I called the company I got a call back the next day from Dennis J. Watson, VP of Business Development. He spent time with me on the phone and then sent me an email with more details and links. One of the links was to a short YouTube video explaining the test and another link was to the company xCures. Dennis also included a template letter to give to your doctor if you're interested in the test. All cutting edge developments in the field of cancer.

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135

    So, a somewhat disappointing update for Travera. Despite the number of samples taken, the samples were not pure enough to do any testing. Therefore, I will likely have to make treatment decisions without the Travera test, as I don't think I can convince my doctor/insurance to repeat a biopsy. :( I knew that number of cells might limit the number of drugs they could test, but I didn't really think they wouldn't be able to do any testing at all. Travera is still working to optimize their testing, so this was a lesson learned. I wish I didn't have to go through the extra biopsy and extra stabs for nothing, but hopefully this helps to inform Travera's process a bit and prevents others future hassle. My understanding is that breast tissue can be more of a mix of cells and that they've had better success extracting live cancer cells from liver and skin (for melanoma, they haven't tested with breast cancer from the skin yet).

    weninwi - I have to talk to my doctor about breast surgery. I'm thinking it doesn't make much sense at the moment because it looks like I may have affected lymph nodes on the opposite side (I already had lymph nodes out on the same side as the affected breast).

  • bookgal
    bookgal Member Posts: 20

    @jniffs Thank you for starting this thread and sharing your experiences with Travera. I mentioned them to my doctor, who ha never heard of them, and was not interested. After reading Weinwi post, I think I will contact them for info I can give to my doctor.

    I did watch a video about this test (for fluid) and learned that their ability to test depends on the number of useable cells they can find in the sample which can vary from sample to sample (of fluid). I had no idea that they started tissue testing up already. Best of luck that the next sample is useful to them.

    Please keep me updated as I too have skin mets and have failed Xeloda, and about to try Orserdu but am not holding my breath so to speak. I wish you the best.

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135

    @bookgal - I wish you the best on Orserdu. I recently tried Travera again - 2 biopsies/samples liver and lymph node. Unfortunately, there weren't enough live cells yet again. :( I still believe in the technology, but they are going to have to figure out how to obtain optimal samples. If you attempt Travera, be prepared that you may not get any results.

  • bookgal
    bookgal Member Posts: 20

    @JSNIFFS Thank you for the information. I wish you luck on your next treatment too. I hope you keep me posted as to your progress. Skin mets is so tricky. Did your doctor decide treatment was not working based on skin progression alone? Mine did not seem to think there was progression until CA 15-3 was going up.

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135

    @bookgal - There was progression in other areas besides skin, otherwise, we were going to try to spot treat skin mets and stay on Orserdu a bit longer

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 736

    I saw my MO today. Asked about getting a Travera test on a liver biopsy. She said "No" she would not order it as the cancer center does not officially recognize it. I asked if she had heard of it and she said she had "heard of similar tests". I'm let down. I hope Travera, and tests like it, keep making progress for BC.

  • jsniffs
    jsniffs Member Posts: 135

    @weninwi - That is a bummer. My MO wasn't super thrilled with ordering the Travera test but was fine adding it on to an existing biopsy (needed for other reasons). The Travera test is free at the moment, so I keep thinking it's in everyone's interest to at least try the technology (when it makes sense). Even if it doesn't work out, we all can contribute to helping to improve these technologies.