Liquid Biopsy 1: High-Definition Single Cell Analysis (HD-SCA)
Principal Investigator: Peter Kuhn, Ph.D.
Organization: University of Southern California
Years of Grants: 2013-2018 (R33 award)
“Each cancer today has tens of treatment options and we have over a thousand trials ongoing; there is no choice but to figure out how to manage treatment decisions with a comprehensive liquid biopsy.”
What is it?
- This platform acquires high-resolution images of each cancer cell found in a blood sample and allows extensive characterization (including targeted, multiplexed detection of proteins and nucleic acid biomarkers) at single cell resolution.
How does this technology intend to change cancer research and patient care?
- The HD-SCA platform brought the idea of “no cell left behind” to the field of liquid biopsy technologies, becoming the first platform to drastically reduce sample enrichment and processing steps for the handling of blood samples. Thus, allowing the potential to assess most any cell in a blood sample and make new observations that uniquely enable discovery of novel biomarkers. The technology is commercially available through services from Epic Sciences, Inc.
How is this important for the patient?
- Despite decades of extensive effort, few circulating biomarkers are available for diagnosing and managing the hundreds of diseases currently known as cancer. The important contribution from the HD-SCA platform is that its broad flexibility for testing blood samples allows for wide-ranging and holistic screening of biological signatures. This flexibility further allows for validation of a new clinical diagnostic using the same platform that enabled its discovery, thereby making the new test available for patients in the clinic much faster.
Example(s) of success:
- Using the HD-SCA platform in its regulatory compliant and commercial setting, the team at Epic Sciences worked with clinical collaborators to verify the presence of a biomarker called AR-V7 in circulating tumor cells from patients with advanced, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer. The test distinguished patients that could benefit from androgen receptor inhibitor therapies from those patients that are resistant and would benefit from chemotherapy instead, thereby offering clinicians a new tool they could use to help care for these patients.