February 08, 2017
Partnership formed to speed up widespread use of liquid biopsies
BY Ron Gilmore
MD Anderson Cancer Center and Guardant Health recently announced a multi-year partnership designed to more quickly make comprehensive liquid biopsy technology the standard of care in cancer treatment. The commercial, research and development agreement makes MD Anderson one of the few hospitals in the world with integrated comprehensive liquid biopsy (CLB) capabilities.
While standard biopsies are considered an invasive procedure, liquid biopsies allow caregivers to determine cancer’s presence through a simple blood draw. Because tumors “shed” their DNA in the blood, samples may be able to detect specific tumor mutations that may guide doctors in choosing the best therapy.
Under the partnership, Guardant Health will help MD Anderson build multiple on-site liquid biopsy centers, enabling development of novel non-invasive assays using Guardant Health’s Digital Sequencing technology. First-of-their-kind interventional clinical utility studies, which are designed to show how CLB can improve patient outcomes across multiple types and stages of cancer, will be jointly funded.
“Liquid biopsies are far less invasive than traditional biopsies, a development that not only benefits our patients through a simplified diagnostic procedure but also by significantly enhanced analysis of samples taken,” said Stanley Hamilton, M.D., professor of Pathology and division head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at MD Anderson. “This unique partnership will greatly contribute to bringing liquid biopsies to the forefront of cancer care. We have already seen in the medical literature the impact this technology can have on patients, and we anticipate this agreement will drive broader access for our patients in the future.”
The two institutions also will work together on CLB clinical utility studies designed to support incorporation of CLB testing into national guidelines and adoption as a national standard of care.
Read more about the partnership in the MD Anderson Newsroom.