Adaptive Biotechnologies Study Reveals Homogeneous Immune Repertoire in Solid Tumors

Study co-led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center dispels notion of immune system as spatially heterogeneous as cancer genome

Oct 08, 2013, 11:08 ET from Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation

SEATTLE, Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation, a leading provider of next-generation oncology diagnostics, today announced results from an ovarian cancer study, conducted in collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, highlighting the even distribution of immune fighter cells (T-cells) within the tumor. The study, published online in the Journal of Pathology ahead of the print publication, demonstrated the ability of Adaptive's immunoSEQ assay to assess the quantity and clonality of immune system cells within a tumor at a depth and specificity made possible by next-generation sequencing.

"Spatial heterogeneity of cancer genomes has been shown for multiple tumor types, which adds complexity to the genomic data collected from any given tumor biopsy because it is potentially unrepresentative of the tumor as a whole," explained Dr. Harlan Robins, corresponding author, Adaptive Biotechnologies co-founder and Associate Member of the Fred Hutch Public Health Sciences Division. "Our study shows that regardless of the multiple genomes found in ovarian tumors, the distribution of host immune T cells remains homogeneous. The potential impact on oncology diagnostics is significant in that the interpretation of the host immune response remains consistent regardless of the tumor section that a biopsy is taken from, which is a large hurdle when characterizing the cancer genome."

In this study, the Adaptive and the Fred Hutch team examined five large primary and metastatic ovarian tumors to determine whether the same population of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs) was uniformly present throughout the tumors, or whether different tumor sections contained different populations of infiltrating T-cells.  Using high-throughput sequencing provided by the immunoSEQ platform, the team identified the specific T-cell lineages present in up to 22 different biopsies from each tumor.  The study demonstrated that the T-cells infiltrating these five ovarian tumors were homogenous, with largely the same T-cells observed regardless of the biopsy examined. 

These data also complement a global effort under way to validate the need to incorporate a measure of immune-fighting T-cells, or TILs, into the staging criteria for patients with solid tumors. Adaptive and many research-based institutions globally are generating data demonstrating that patients with a "stronger" immune response to their tumor have a statistically higher chance of survival, often irrespective of tumor size or treatment protocol.

"The implication of this study on the field of oncology and diagnostics is profound," remarked CEO and co-founder, Chad Robins. "We are developing a suite of assays under the quanTILfyTM brand that offer researchers and clinicians a reliable, quantitative measure of the presence and diversity of infiltrating tumor immune system cells in solid tumors. We anticipate the launch of these assays into the clinic to support the diagnosis and staging of cancer patients in the near future."

Funding for this study was provided by the Listwin Family Foundation, the Pacific Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium, the Department of Defense, the Canary Foundation and the Ellison Medical Foundation.

Adaptive is also applying immune profiling to the burgeoning cancer immunotherapy field, measuring properties of the host response to the tumor to both predict response to and monitor adverse events from immunotherapy drugs. The Company executed a biomarker discovery deal with Bristol Myers Squibb and is collaborating with several leading institutions to identify predictive biomarkers of response and monitor adverse events.

About Adaptive Biotechnologies

Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation ("Adaptive" or the "Company") is a pioneer in immunosequencing diagnostics, with a focus in oncology. The Company leverages advances in next generation sequencing ("NGS") to profile T-Cell and B-Cell Receptors ("TCRs" and "BCRs").  This breakthrough enables in-depth characterization of the immune system, which is the primary defense against cancer. By incorporating immunosequencing into clinical care, Adaptive can enhance the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of cancer patients. The Company's first clinical application, clonoSEQ, is for monitoring Minimal Residual Disease ("MRD") in blood-based cancers.  The Company recently launched clonoSEQ as a CLIA certified Laboratory Developed Test ("LDT") in the second quarter of 2013. Improving the ability to accurately detect and track residual disease at a molecular level affords clinicians the potential to detect relapse earlier and improve patient care.  Adaptive is currently validating additional oncology diagnostics to quantify the presence and clonality of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes ("TIL") and to create a reliable measure of "immunocompetency" to predict or monitor response to cancer treatments that directly alter the host immune system. Adaptive incubates and validates potential clinical products by offering fee-for-service access to its proprietary immune profiling sequencing technology under the brand name immunoSEQ.

SOURCE Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation