Biocept Inc (NASDAQ:BIOC) announced Friday that data validating the ability of its Target Selector platform to identify actionable mutations in the cerebrospinal fluid of cancer patients was presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2020 Virtual Scientific Program.
The presentation showed higher sensitivity with Target Selector in detecting cancer material and identifying leptomeningeal metastases — cancer in the thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord — in cerebrospinal fluid compared with cerebrospinal fluid cytology, the standard-of-care technology.
The presence of tumor cells in cerebrospinal fluid can indicate brain metastasis, which occur when cancer spreads to the central nervous system. Biocept’s Target Selector assays are able to detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating DNA (ctDNA) and identify cancer-associated biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Identifying biomarkers is key to developing targeted therapies for patients, the company said,
"We are excited to share these data at ASCO as they support our belief that Target Selector has potential applicability for identifying actionable mutations in patients with brain metastases allowing physicians the choice to test cerebrospinal fluid, blood or both when looking for biomarker information in order to choose the most appropriate therapy," CEO Michael Nall said in a statement.
"We are planning a larger study to further validate the sensitivity of our Target Selector technology compared with cerebrospinal fluid cytology with the goal of making our platform the standard of care for leptomeningeal metastases testing," he added.
The information was presented by Kevin Kalinsky, an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and an oncologist at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
"Cerebrospinal fluid cytology for the detection of leptomeningeal metastases is the standard, but it often results in false negative results, and lacks sensitivity in detecting biomarkers,” Kalinsky said. “These results show Biocept's Target Selector is a promising tool to meet an underserved need in providing this critical information."
Cerebreospinal fluid is normally collected with a medical procedure known as a spinal tap or lumbar puncture when cancer patients present with central nervous system symptoms such as confusion or dementia, the company said.
Biocept's Target Selector offers an alternative and potentially more accurate means of detecting biomarkers from CTCs and ctDNA.
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