On April 1, 2015, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia announced a partnership with Exosome Sciences Inc. (http://www.exosomesciences.com/), near Princeton, New Jersey, to evaluate a novel, exosome-based liquid biopsy platform that might offer clinicians new and actionable information about a patient's cancer as the disease progresses and changes via a simple blood test. "The term 'liquid biopsy' describes the fact that a simple blood sample can contain many tumor-derived molecules and even tumor cells enabling molecular analyses similar to those possible in tumor tissue samples," says Ulrich Rodeck, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Dermatology, Cutaneous Biology, and Radiation Oncology at Jefferson and co-lead investigator of the study. Jefferson is a leader in liquid biopsies for cancer. Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., Director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center discovered in 2004 that a blood test could help to predict the prognosis of women with breast cancer. This study established that the number of circulating tumor cells in a blood sample can give doctors a quick and minimally invasive snapshot of whether a patient is likely to respond to treatment or not. In addition to circulating tumor cells, the blood also contains free-floating cancer DNA, providing researchers with an option to access treatment-relevant gene alterations in blood samples. The new partnership between Exosome Sciences Inc. and a Jefferson team led by Dr. Rodeck, and Adam Luginbuhl, M.D., Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, will focus on exosomes as a novel liquid biopsy platform.
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