AMP 2021 meeting shines the spotlight on cancer

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Bruce Carlson of Kalorama Information.

The AMP 2021 seminars focused on technologies and techniques for detecting and profiling tumors, with a particular focus on hard-to-detect cancer cells that remain in patients after treatment.

In 2020, an estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases were diagnosed and 606,520 cancer deaths in the United States, according to cancer.org. Health systems around the world are using screening tests, but there are concerns that missed cancer tests during the COVID-19 pandemic portend an increase in cancer cases.

This phenomenon of increasing cancer cases as a result of screenings and missed interventions has been dubbed “the cancer effect of COVID” and was recently described in American scientist. Because of this, missed tests could lead to 5,000 more deaths from breast cancer alone over the next decade, according to a study cited in the article.

Commercially, molecular cancer blood tests are expected to reach nearly $ 1.5 billion in revenue, according to Kalorama Information’s “Global Molecular Diagnostics Market, 10th Edition” report.

Molecular systems target MRD

Particular emphasis is placed on molecular systems for the detection of minimal residual disease (MRD), which can only be meaningfully detected by the type of advanced systems offered by vendors who expose to AMP. The highlights of the MRD are as follows:

  • ClonoSEQ sponsored an on-demand seminar on the use of its ClonoSEQ Next Generation Sequencing Assay (NGS) to detect and track MRD. A recent study in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia found that the U-MRD ClonoSEQ test significantly predicted progression-free survival.
  • Beijing-based Genetron has announced the publication of two research results from its product studies Seq-MRD and FusionScan Plus. The company’s Seq-MRD searches for residual cancer cells through high-throughput sequencing of immunoglobulin gene rearrangements and MRD in B-lymphoid malignancies. The company said both studies verified sensitivity and specificity high of both products.

Improved tumor profiling and therapeutic selection

Meanwhile, Illumina previewed its in-development TruSight Oncology Comprehensive test. Illumina executives demonstrated the test, which uses both DNA and RNA from tumor samples. TruSight identifies small DNA variants, fusions and splice variants as well as major immuno-oncology biomarkers in a comprehensive test. Illumina identifies its TruSight assay as a complete, distributable Genomic Profiling (CGP) solution, with a sample-response workflow for laboratories in Europe.

In 2018, there were approximately 61,698 people with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in the United States, according to the United States National Institutes of Health. Danaher-owned molecular diagnostics company Cepheid presented an on-demand webinar on the importance of rapid, accurate and reproducible molecular results for CML surveillance.

Even though advances in treatment and care have turned CML into a manageable disease, several important challenges remain in monitoring therapeutic responses and disease progression, according to Cepheid. The company’s webinar also covered the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors and their resistance, current guidelines for CML, and the clinical impact of different tests.

Roche highlighted the performance of its Avenio Tumor Tissue CGP kit, an NGS-based test intended for research only (RUO); it is designed to match the FoundationOne CDx test, Roche said.

In addition, Roche presented its test as an “internal end-to-end solution” to profiling 324 genes associated with solid tumors in several types of cancer and shared the results from five lab sites with positive results using of the test.

Constantly evolving technological approaches: spatial genetic variants, unicellular

As several video presentations made clear, cancer detection requires a change of approach and current methods have limitations.

“Bulk sequencing misses rare events and the underlying genetic diversity in cell populations,” said MissionBio, based in south San Francisco. “To improve patient stratification, therapy selection and disease monitoring, we need information about the clonal architecture, the co-occurrence of mutations and the immunophenotype within each cell. ”

Mission Bio’s answer: Single-cell and multi-omic DNA analyzes allow simultaneous detection of mutation profiles and immunophenotypes in single cells, so laboratories can stratify patients more precisely, reporting resistance as soon as possible. it starts and predict relapses.

Asuragen focused on improving the quantification of copy number with a more specific number of types of genetic variants. Its RUO AmplideX PCR / CE SMN1 / 2 assay quantifies SMN1 / SMN2 copy number and detects additional variants in less than four hours, Asuragen said.

NanoString discussed bringing its spatial biomarker testing closer to routine clinical use in an on-demand webinar focused on the company’s GeoMx digital spatial profiler.

Its panels allow for highly multiplexed quantification of protein and phosphoprotein targets relevant for the selection of anticancer treatments, including intracellular signaling and immune biomarkers, according to the company.

The company has developed standard controls using formalin fixed and paraffin embedded cancer cell lines treated with drugs or growth factors, arranged in a tissue DNA chip. These controls are used in an ongoing collaboration between its laboratories and Mayo Clinic Laboratories to evaluate the product, NanoString said.

CHA price

In addition to showcasing technologies and study results, prizes were awarded including:

  • The Award for Excellence in Molecular Diagnostics was presented to Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Jennifer Doudna, PhD, of the University of California at Berkeley in recognition of her pioneering work in molecular and cellular biology.
  • The Jeffrey A. Kant Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Charles Hill, PhD, of Emory University in Atlanta for his work as an advocate for the globalization of the AMP community.
  • The Meritorious Service Award was presented to Dr. Marina Nikiforova of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for her “exceptional dedication … to providing invaluable service to the AMP and its members,” according to a press release from AMP.

The association is planning an in-person meeting in October 2022 in Phoenix.

Bruce Carlson is the editor of Kalorama Information, which is part of the Science and Medicine Group.

Disclosure: LabPulse.com is a sister company of Kalorama Information.

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