Collaboration with Barts Cancer Institute
ANGLE plc has announced a collaboration with Barts Cancer Institute to investigate the clinical use of the Parsortix system in prostate cancer patients.
Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, is a Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence with close association with the Barts Health NHS Trust, based in the City of London. Barts Cancer Institute is home to world-class clinical, translational and basic scientific research and is one of the top five cancer research centres in the UK.
The research collaboration is being led by Dr Yong-Jie Lu, a Reader in Medical Oncology, and Dr Jonathan Shamash, a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Oncologist, both from Barts Cancer Institute. Dr Yong-Jie Lu’s research focuses on the identification of critical genes in the development and progression of prostate cancer. Such genetic alterations can be used to develop useful biomarkers for tumour behaviour and therapeutic response and targets for novel therapies.
Barts Cancer Institute started working with the Parsortix system in March 2014 and Dr Yong-Jie Lu’s initial report was presented at the 2nd International Symposium on Advances in Circulating Tumor Cells, which was held in Crete from 8 to 11 October 2014. Key findings included:
• the Parsortix system worked well in harvesting circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from the peripheral blood (drawn via a simple blood test) of advanced prostate cancer patients. For 100% of the patients, CTCs were harvested for analysis. The number of CTCs captured was considered to be a high level of sensitivity easily within the level needed for molecular analysis
• the Parsortix system captured a similar number of CTCs to a leading antibody-based CTC system (epithelial prostate cancer cells are one of the cancer cell types that can be captured using antibodies)
• the Parsortix system captured a high purity of CTCs whereas antibody-based systems have a low purity of CTCs with a high level of white blood cells. A higher level of purity is required when subjecting cells to whole genome analysis without a further step to extract a single cell from the harvest. In paired patient samples, the purity of the Parsortix harvest averaged 15%. The average purity for the antibody system was 0.5%
• the Parsortix CTC harvest was well suited for downstream molecular analysis. The CTCs harvested by the Parsortix system were demonstrated to work well with fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. FISH analysis is a widely used genetic test, which is used in the testing of cancer cells. FISH analysis can be compromised if an antibody immuno-magnetic bead process is used to capture CTCs.
Going forward, Barts Cancer Institute will be investigating:
• the capability of the Parsortix system to harvest CTCs with mesenchymal properties, which currently cannot be captured using an epithelial antibody-based system. These are particularly important CTCs, which have been through the epithelial mesenchymal transition, which is an essential part of metastasis
• the viability of CTCs after their harvest from the Parsortix system and the potential to culture them. Culturing CTCs could provide a way to test the likely effectiveness of a proposed treatment before administering the patient with a given drug
• the molecular biomarkers in the CTCs captured by the Parsortix system to predict prostate cancer patient outcome and response to therapies.
ANGLE is strongly focused on establishing the use of the Parsortix system in clinical practice. To achieve this, the top priority is the establishment of collaborations with key opinion leaders at world class research centres. These key opinion leaders are working to identify applications with medical utility (clear benefit to patients), and to secure clinical data that demonstrates that utility in patient studies. ANGLE believes this is the optimal approach for unlocking the multi-billion dollar worldwide market available to the Company and its potential strategic partners.
Dr Yong-Jie Lu, Reader in Medical Oncology at Barts Cancer Institute, commented: “We are very pleased to be working with ANGLE and their Parsortix system. The genetic analysis of CTCs has the potential to provide highly valuable molecular data for personalized cancer treatment. We are impressed with the ability of the Parsortix system to capture and harvest CTCs in a form suitable for further molecular analysis in many aspects. We look forward to utilizing the Parsortix system to develop applications that may be used to guide the treatment of cancer patients.”
ANGLE Founder and Chief Executive, Andrew Newland, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Dr Yong-Jie Lu and Dr Jonathan Shamash at Barts Cancer Institute. This collaboration moves forward our system’s application with prostate cancer patients, the most common form of cancer in men. Dr Yong-Jie Lu is an expert in the area of genetic biomarkers for prostate cancer and we look forward to working together to develop applications for personalized cancer care.”