Research Collaboration Furthers Cancer Treatment Research

Partnership between Clearbrdige BioMedics and John Wayne Cancer Institute will initially focus on melanoma.

Clearbridge BioMedics recently announced a clinical collaboration with the John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at the St. Johns Health Center, called the Circulating Tumor Cell Center of Research Excellence (CTC CoRE).

The collaboration between the 2 companies will work to build on Clearbridge BioMedic’s experience in isolating circulating tumor cells, according to a press release from the company. The initial aim of the research collaboration will be to study melanoma, and then epithelial cancers.

JWCI believes that this collaboration will advance into a center in accordance with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) program, which will allow researchers to test blood biopsy samples to support diagnosis, monitor treatments, and create more personalized cancer treatments.

“This partnership is an expansion of our long-standing collaboration with Clearbridge BioMedics. We originally began working with them in 2011, to validate the ClearCell FX System, and we are delighted to be setting up a new CTC Core with Clearbridge BioMedics to advance the development of our assays. We hope to be able to transform this center into a CLIA service in early 2018” said Dave SB Hoon, PhD, director, Dept. Translational Molecular Medicine, John Wayne Cancer Institute.

CTC CoRE uses the molecular circulating tumor cell assay creation from John Wayne Cancer Institute with Clearbridge Biomedic’s ClearCell FX System to create an unbiased, label-free enrichment of circulating tumor cells, according to the press release.

Investigators plan to use cancer DNA and RNA, established by JWCI, to determine the patient’s status prior to and after treatment. Most patients would be tested at the time of resection, before and after treatment with drugs, or during follow-up, which may allow physicians to better determine the patient’s response to treatment.

The investigators believe that novel research conducted under this partnership will lead to new assays for melanoma and solid tumor cancers in JWCI’s CLIA program, according to the press release.

Findings from the collaboration could potentially lead to cost savings and improved decision-making. The unbiased, label-free isolation of these cancer cells leads to a reproducible approach that is compatible with various types of assays used in clinical oncology translational studies, Clearbridge BioMedics said.

The ClearCell FX System is an automated circulating tumor cell retrieval system that uses the CTChip FR1 intertial microfluidics biochip. The device is able to retrieve intact, viable tumor cells from standard bloodwork.

This system provides a cost-effective retrieval method, and has been used along with next generation sequencing, PCR, florescent in-situ hybridization, and immunofluorescence staining, according to the press release.

“We are honored to partner with JWCI, a leading research and treatment cancer institute. This is the second CTC CoRE that Clearbridge BioMedics has set up — the first being with the National Cancer Centre Singapore and Singapore General Hospital in 2014,” said Michael Paumen, PhD, CEO Clearbridge. “Clearbridge BioMedics will continue working towards validation of clinical utility of our ClearCell FX System, to help oncologists have access to better tools to diagnose, treat and manage cancer.”