Meditations of an oncology geek

Archive for May, 2015

New Publication

without comments

10 May 2015

I am pleased to announce that my company’s first peer-reviewed scientific publication is now available online and open access:

Analytical Validation and Capabilities of the Epic CTC Platform: Enrichment-Free Circulating Tumour Cell Detection and Characterization

It’s been immensely rewarding (and quite fun!) to work with such an innovative team. The platform has allowed us an unparalleled view into the basic nature of circulating tumor cells, and we will be following this up with forthcoming publications.

As the title implies, it includes an analytical validation for detection of CTC surrogates (cancer cell line cells spiked into healthy donor blood) as well as an overview of the dimensions of molecular characterization enabled on our platform.

The liquid biopsy is not-so-slowly becoming a reality, and I could not be more thrilled. Optimal therapy guidance in oncology, especially for targeted therapies, frequently require a tissue biopsy. I yearn for the day that cutting and prodding patients prior to systemic therapy will be seen as blunt at best and draconian at worst. We can and will guide therapy without invasive biopsies, or even trips to a hospital.

Siddhartha Mukherjee has many eloquent lines to describe the nuances and struggles of oncology, of which this one particularly comes to mind:

Cancer’s life is a recapitulation of the body’s life, its existence a pathological mirror of our own.

To this, I would like to add that cancer is a recapitulation of basic tenants of population biology as well, namely the ability to evolve in response to selective pressures. What is truly needed is not a high-resolution snapshot of disease at one time point, but a movie of clonal evolution to expose shifting kinks in cancer’s armor. Solid tissue biopsies largely preclude repeat sampling, but single-cell protein and genomic analyses on circulating tumor cells might provide such a movie. Stay tuned!

Ryon

Written by Ryon

May 10th, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Posted in Science Blog