Sequenom agreed to a clinical research collaboration with the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Moores will explore the utility of Sequenom's new liquid biopsy assay to profile circulating cell-free tumor DNA in blood to enable serial monitoring and assist with therapy selection in cancer patients. This technology has the potential to overcome the challenges and limitations associated with current methods such as imaging and invasive biopsies, according to Razelle Kurzrock, M.D., chief of the division of hematology & oncology and Murray Professor of Medicine, senior deputy director of clinical science and director of the center for personalized cancer therapy & clinical trials office..
"Sequenom has designed a comprehensive multi-gene panel based on the clinical actionability of cancer genes. The ability to match patients to a growing list of treatments and to monitor their response by a simple blood draw promises to make a significant difference in the way we treat cancer patients at UC San Diego," said Dr. Kurzrock. "The collaboration with Sequenom will allow us to analyze more cancer-related genes in the blood than previously possible to better understand tumor heterogeneity and the emergence of resistance mutations."
Sequenom is currently developing a research use only (RUO) assay with an initial focus on the detection and molecular profiling of late stage non-hematologic malignancies, where tissue biopsies are not available or too risky to obtain. A Sequenon official point out that the assay will cover a breadth of cancer types by analyzing over 100 cancer-related genes that are associated with a FDA-approved drug treatment, included in professional society guidelines, linked to targeted therapies currently in clinical trials, or part of well-documented cancer pathways.