Expression Pathology Inc. has announced a collaboration with Children’s Oncology Group to assess IGF-1R expression levels in a cohort of clinical rhabdomyosarcoma tissue samples. Children’s Oncology Group, funded through CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, is the world’s largest cooperative cancer research organization dedicated to childhood cancers.
IGF-1R (insulin like growth factor-1 receptor), a critical mediator of cancer cell growth, is the target of drug development programs at multiple pharmaceutical companies. However, IGF-1R targeted therapies have potential toxicities due to significant expression of the target in normal tissues and homology of the IGF-1R target with the insulin receptor.
The project addresses two key challenges: the ability to accurately measure IGF-1R protein expression levels in cancer tissue and to do so in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue, the standard form of tissue preservation used in medical facilities worldwide.
In a collaboration with Dr. Lee Helman and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute the patented Liquid Tissue®-SRM assay technology has been shown to enable for the first time reliable quantification of IGF-1R in FFPE tissue., This new collaboration will apply the company’s quantitative assay in an effort to improve the identification of patients to be included or excluded from treatment with a potentially toxic therapy.
“The novel techniques for quantifying protein expression in FFPE tissue will enhance our ability to evaluate targeted therapy.” says Dr. Suman Malempati, Principal Investigator on this study for the Children’s Oncology Group. “Specifically, determining IGF-IR expression in rhabdomyosarcoma tumor tissue is a first step to evaluating response to IGF-IR inhibition. The current study for metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma incorporates an anti-IGF-IR antibody on a chemotherapy backbone. If the assay is successful, analysis of patient tumors may help determine which patients will benefit most from this novel agent.” Dr. Malempati is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Oregon Health & Science University at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
"We are truly excited to be part of this dynamic collaboration.” said Dr. Jon Burrows, Expression Pathology’s Executive Vice President Research and Development. “Children’s Oncology Group provides us access to tissue samples suitable for validating the utility of this important assay. This is part of a broad program we have embarked on to exploit our unique ability to apply mass spectrometry to FFPE tissue. We are developing quantitative companion diagnostic Liquid Tissue®-SRM assays for many important protein pathways targeted by existing and emerging cancer drugs.”