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Angle, MD Anderson Cancer Center collaborate on colorectal cancer

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Angle, a specialist medtech company based in England, is collaborating with the MD Anderson Cancer Center to investigate the clinical use of Angle’s Parsortix system as a companion diagnostic in colorectal cancer. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is a center devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.

The research collaboration is being led by Drs. Mien-Chie Hung, vice president for basic research and chairman of the department of molecular and cellular oncology; Scott Kopetz, associate professor, GI medical oncology; and Shulin Li, professor, pediatrics, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

MD Anderson will recruit 50 metastatic colorectal cancer patients for the patient study, which is expected to report by the end of the year. Blood will be collected from each patient and processed using Angle’s Parsortix system. The harvested circulating tumor cells (CTCs) will be distributed to three different MD Anderson labs in pursuit of three key objectives:

  • Investigation of key markers on the CTCs, which may act as a companion diagnostic to indicate which patients will benefit from the Merck Serono’s FDA approved drug Erbitux (Cetuximab). A successful outcome may lead to the use of a Parsortix blood test to help guide the treatment regime to be offered to colorectal cancer patients.
  • Investigating the number of CTCs that have been through the EMT (epithelial mesenchymal transition) phase and are involved in the process of metastasis. Such mesenchymal CTCs cannot be effectively detected by antibody systems and the capability of the Parsortix system to harvest these CTCs for analysis may yield important clinical information on the process of metastasis leading to secondary cancers.
  • Investigation of the potential to develop the capability to culture colorectal cancer CTCs harvested by the Parsortix system to provide a population of the patient’s cancer cells outside the patient for investigation, for example for chemosensitivity testing.

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