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Columbia U Team to Study Biocept Liquid Biopsy Platform in Breast Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocept said today that Columbia University Medical Center is planning a study that will evaluate its Target Selector liquid biopsy platform for detecting leptomeningeal metastases in patients with breast cancer.

LM is a condition in which cancer cells gain access to the cerebral spinal fluid, allowing them to seed metastases in the nerve tissue of the spine and brain.

In the new study, expected to enroll 46 breast cancer patients, researchers will use Biocept's platform to test subjects' CSF, comparing the results to current standard methods for diagnosing this type of cancer progression.

"Diagnosing LM in patients with breast cancer can be challenging given the low diagnostic sensitivity of traditional methods such as cytologic analysis," Kevin Kalinsky, assistant professor of medicine at CUMC and the study's principal investigator, said in a statement.

In addition to the primary goal of testing whether Biocept's technology can outperform currently used cytologic methods, the investigators said that they also hope to use the technology to try to identify molecular features like estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 receptor status in CTCs, and to compare the receptor status of patients' spinal fluid CTCs to their primary and/or metastatic tumors.

Kalinsky and other CUMC colleagues have worked with Biocept previously, publishing a study in 2015 that showed a high concordance between ER/PR status as measured by Biocept's CTC-based approach in blood and the the status of patients' primary and metastatic tumor tissue.