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Fluxion Biosciences, UT Health Collaborate

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Fluxion Biosciences has announced that it is collaborating with the University of Texas Health Science Center to develop novel liquid biopsy approaches to improve the ability to diagnose, monitor, and treat cancer patients. The laboratory of Dr. Robert Amato is utilizing Fluxion’s IsoFlux System to isolate, recover, and analyze rare circulating cancer cells (CTCs) at the molecular level.

Ongoing access to cancer tissue represents one of the most significant challenges in characterizing cancer, and CTCs can alleviate this limitation by providing frequent, minimally-invasive access to cancer tissue via a blood draw. The high efficiency and high purity of CTCs recovered with IsoFlux system allows for the use of highly multiplexed analyses such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) for cancer mutational profiling.

This “liquid biopsy” approach allows screening for a broad range of cancer biomarkers that will help guide treatment decisions using an emerging class of precision cancer therapies. The collaboration with Dr. Amato will initially focus on prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers.

One of the world’s leading experts in the treatment of genitourinary cancer, Dr. Amato, full professor and Director of the Division of Oncology at UT Health Medical School and the Chief of the Division of Oncology at the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center, stated. “We have already shown the ability to detect cancer in its early stages, and to measure tumor heterogeneity through single-cell analysis. The use of intact, live cells also offers the ability to measure gene and protein expression, and directly enables the use of mouse models for pharmacodynamic testing. Cancer is a dynamic disease, and the ability to track changes in each patient via a blood sample can allow actionable changes to be detected much earlier. One aim of the collaboration is to identify markers that can help stratify patients requiring more aggressive treatment from those that don’t. This is currently a major challenge in the treatment of prostate cancer.”