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Addario Institute, Dana-Farber Partner on Lung Cancer Sequencing Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) announced this week that it has partnered with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on a nationwide study investigating the causes of treatment resistance in a subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

The study — called Study of Plasma Next Generation Sequencing for Remote Assessment, Characterization, Evaluation of Patients with ALK Drug Resistance, or SPACEWALK — will focus on anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive NSCLC patients, who benefit from approved ALK inhibitors but often develop resistance mutations.

According to ALCMI, the study will enroll NSCLC patients who have already developed resistance to ALK-targeted therapy. Participants will provide a blood sample that will be sent to Bellevue, Washington-based Resolution Bioscience, which will sequence circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in order to identify genetic changes that contribute to drug resistance and may be used to guide treatment decisions.

"As we gain more treatment options for ALK-positive lung cancer, we now need better diagnostic tools to help us choose the best treatment for each patient," Geoffrey Oxnard, a Dana-Farber researcher and SPACEWALK principal investigator, said in a statement. "We are so excited to offer a research study across the US that both allows these patients to participate in research toward understanding drug resistance, while also giving them a test result that could help guide them to a new treatment option."

In 2017, San Carlos, California-based ALCMI partnered with Inivata on a 500-patient study investigating the use of the company's InVision circulating tumor DNA test in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients after surgery. The next year, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis joined the study.