Roche launches new test for diagnosis and monitoring of thyroid cancer

Basel, 04 April 2013

The Elecsys Calcitonin marker expands Roche’s portfolio for improved thyroid management

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced the global launch (except US) of Elecsys Calcitonin, a new laboratory test for the diagnosis and lifelong monitoring of medullary thyroid cancer patients after thyroid surgery.1 Calcitonin is a specific tumour marker that can help healthcare professionals diagnose medullary thyroid carcinoma early, as elevated concentrations of calcitonin in the blood are associated with the onset of this type of cancer. The new test is an important component of medical assessment, especially when the patient’s symptoms are not specific. When performed alongside further examinations, the calcitonin test supports final clinical clearance. Patients can be treated at an earlier stage with greater chances of success.2

Designed for use on Roche’s cobas modular analyser platform, Elecsys Calcitonin offers healthcare professionals an integrated solution for accurate diagnosis and reliable patient monitoring, significantly improving medical decision-making and treatment planning.

“The development of new laboratory tests for cancer management reflects our key goal of diagnostic solutions that support healthcare professionals with clear, actionable information and can thus contribute to increasing patient survival,” said Roland Diggelmann, Chief Operating Officer, Roche Diagnostics.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the throat. One of the largest endocrine glands, it produces hormones which control the body’s metabolism. Medullary thyroid carcinoma is the third most common type of thyroid cancer, accounting for 5–10% of all thyroid cancers. Treatment usually involves extensive surgical removal of the thyroid gland, followed by lifelong relapse monitoring, usually every six months.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, infectious diseases, inflammation, metabolism and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2012 Roche had over 82,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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1) Cooper, D.S. et al. (2009). Thyroid 19, 1167-1214.
2) Elisei, R. et al. (2012), A. Nat. Rev. Endocrinol. 8, 466–475 (2012); published online 3 April 2012.