Biocept Inc (NASDAQ:BIOC) announced promising results Monday from a prospective study of its Target Selector cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) testing in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and leptomeningeal metastasis.
The study, which was presented virtually on Friday at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, compared Biocept’s technology with traditional cytology (read: examining cells under a microscope).
Specifically, the study looked at 28 CSF samples from 15 patients obtained before and during treatment for leptomeningeal metastasis, which occurs when cancer cells migrate to the body’s CSF.
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Biocept’s Target selector found circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in 78% of samples, while cytology detected CTCs in 55% of samples. Target Selector also provided sensitive quantitative identification of actionable EGFR mutations, or damage to the DNA in a cancer cell, in cerebrospinal fluid.
The presentation, titled “Hot Topic: Liquid Biopsy” was given by David Berz, an oncologist at Beverly Hills Cancer Center.
"Even in this small study, the ability to detect response to this experimental treatment in cerebrospinal fluid using Target Selector is promising, particularly as the diagnosis of leptomeningeal disease remains challenging using current methods," Berz said in a statement. "Cytological assessment has limited sensitivity and often requires multiple sample collection attempts. In addition, cytology is a qualitative measurement, whereas Target Selector allows for quantitative assessment of treatment response. Given these encouraging results, additional studies of the use of Target Selector testing in patients with leptomeningeal disease is highly warranted."
Ultimately, the goal is to help physicians make better-informed decisions about patients’ treatment.
"These results indicate Target Selector may play an important role in providing valuable information to neuro-oncologists in making treatment decisions for patients with lung cancer metastases to the brain," CEO Michael Nall said. "As more therapies are developed with the ability to cross the blood brain barrier that target specific cancer related gene and protein alterations, analysis of cerebrospinal fluid to inform early detection and subsequent monitoring for treatment response and disease progression will likely become increasingly important."
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