SAN DIEGO, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Epic Sciences announced today that its no cell left behind™ technology has successfully integrated single cell isolation and downstream genetic analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) to the platform's capabilities. Data describing next generation sequencing and copy number variation analyses of single prostate cancer cells in a blood sample will be presented during the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), April 18-22, in Philadelphia.
In the study, independent isolates of human blood cells spiked with prostate cancer cell lines were processed on the Epic platform and genetic material from individual cells was subsequently sequenced. Profiles for copy number variation (CNV), a common category of genetic aberration, demonstrated a high level of correlation among replicate samples, demonstrating the reproducibility of the no cell left behind™ platform.
"Metastatic cancers are highly heterogeneous at the genetic level and can evolve during the course of disease under therapeutic pressure," said Murali Prahalad, Ph.D., president and CEO of Epic Sciences. "The ability to genetically analyze individual circulating tumor cells has the potential to dramatically impact the development of new therapies and better inform treatment decisions to more effectively fight these complex diseases."
CTCs are shed by tumors and can be collected by a simple blood draw. Single cell analysis of CTCs by Epic's technology is designed to allow clinicians a window into the heterogeneity of each patient's disease. With real-time information about both the primary tumor and secondary metastases, CTCs provide a comprehensive picture of which mutations are driving therapeutic resistance or could be therapeutically targeted.
"Single cell genetic analysis is a key advance in the circulating tumor cell field and a major step in fighting cancer," concluded Dr. Prahalad. "Epic has now enabled accurate tracking of tumor evolution and intrapatient heterogeneity to inform therapeutic development, therapy selection and drug resistance mechanisms."
Methods that pool the genetic material from a biopsy homogenize the sample and cloak underrepresented mutations that may hold early signs of therapeutic resistance. Genetic analysis at the single cell level is expected to deliver the most accurate picture possible of how each individual patient's disease is developing, thereby enabling design of effective and tailored treatments.
The study, "A Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Genome Wide Copy Number Variation (CNV) Assay for Comparison of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) Heterogeneity," will be presented in Poster Session PO.MCB03.03, "Identification of Molecular Markers," on April 22, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
About Epic Sciences
Epic Sciences, Inc. is developing novel diagnostics to personalize and advance the treatment and management of cancer. Epic's mission is to enable the rapid and non-invasive detection of genetic and molecular changes in cancer throughout a patient's journey. The company was founded on a powerful platform to identify and characterize rare cells, including circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Epic's no cell left behind™ technology helps match patients to targeted therapies and monitor for drug resistance, so that the best treatment path can be chosen at every clinical decision point. Today, we partner with leading pharmaceutical companies and major cancer centers around the world. Epic's goal is to commercialize our technology to increase the success rate of cancer drugs in clinical trials and improve patient outcomes by providing physicians real-time information to guide treatment choices.
SOURCE Epic Sciences