Today we discuss the dissemination of DNA-methylation-based tests for non-invasive detection of cancer. BioQuick News recently sat down with Dhruvajyoti Roy (photo), PhD, who is the Director of Technology at the Laboratory for Advanced Medicine Inc. (LAM), an AI-driven healthcare company focused on commercializing early cancer detection tests from a simple blood draw, to learn about the company’s technology and recent advances in the field of DNA methylation analysis. LAM developed a blood-based Liver Cancer Test, which can be used for early detection of liver cancer, as well as for monitoring disease recurrence. Dr. Roy had presented data from a validation study conducted by LAM on the ability of the assay to detect hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer (more than 75% of all liver cancers, at The Liver Meeting® 2019 hosted by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), which was held in Boston from November 8-12, 2019. AASLD selected LAM's data for its poster presentation as a "Poster of Distinction." Posters of Distinction are classified as being in the top 10% of scored poster abstracts. (Dr. Roy was interviewed by BioQuick News editor Michael D. O'Neill and the text of the interview is provided below). QUESTION: Why did your group decide to focus on methylation status of cfDNA for your test? DR. ROY: Both genetic and epigenetic changes are known to be associated with the development of tumors. Over the last decade, analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from liquid biopsy samples, has emerged as a promising and potentially transformative, non-invasive diagnostic approach in oncology. cfDNA is composed of fragmented DNA released by cells into the circulation, typically as a result of cell death.
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