Sensitivity to Checkpoint Inhibitors
As cancer evolves during disease progression, tumors often develop mechanisms to evade the body’s immune response. A multitude of drugs targeting PD-1 and PD-L1 — critical in T-cell recognition of a cell as foreign or self — are currently in development and have shown significant efficacy in subsets of patient cohorts with lung cancer and melanoma. The identification of markers that are capable of predicting responses to these drugs has only just begun. Strategies for prediction employ:
- Tumor tissue protein expression for PD-L1
- Immune activation through the formation of TILs
- Genomic analysis of tumors for the presence of MSI or mutational burden
All current strategies also have limitations due to the requirement of tissue. Evidence strongly suggests that sensitivity to immune checkpoint inhibitors and PD-L1 protein expression can increase with lines of systemic therapy. This supports the need for a real-time biopsy. To identify patients who will most likely respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors, Epic Sciences has developed a number of tools, including a single cell PD-L1 IF assay. This test has pinpointed PD-L1+ patients in a variety of diseases, including lung, bladder, pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer. PD-L1+ CTCs have also identified worse outcomes in patients treated for lung cancer
Simultaneous Tumor Cell and Leukocyte Characterization
PD-L1+ CTCS Prognosticate Poor OS in NSCLC
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Every time Epic’s AR-V7 test is administered the healthcare system saves about $15,000 per year of life extended. In other words approximately $7,000 to $9,000 per patient tested.
Of the roughly 30 million cells in a typical blood sample, about 5 are cancer cells on their way to form tumors elsewhere in the body. Modern cancer diagnostics technology can't see them.
We spend about $100 billion a year on cancer drugs. But because we’re not matching the right drug to the right patient and their disease in a personalized way, about 3/4ths of that drug spend is wasted.
The Epic approach answers a critical question for a doctor: When is a patient resistant? By answering that question accurately and precisely we increase patient life and save the system money at the same time.
Today, Epic Sciences is embedded in clinical trials with 48 leading producers of oncology drugs and 35 of the top academic cancer hospitals.
It takes only 7 minutes to acquire an entire image of 6 million stained cells on a 1 x 3 slide. Then that image, which is about 20GB of data, gets sent up to the cloud where the algorithms run and find the rare events in about 2 more minutes.