New possibilities for personalized cancer treatment
Labcyte has partnered with innovative researchers working to evolve personalized medicine from a treatment based on behaviors observed from a tested population to one based on a tested individual.
Our involvement with Individualized Medicine started in a partnership with the Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM). At FIMM, scientists have developed an innovative approach to cancer care that first involves testing the effects of hundreds of different drug options on the patient’s cancer cells in the lab. Combined with the patient’s DNA data, this information can help doctors create a tailored treatment plan in real time.
FIMM’s Individual Systems Medicine (ISM) approach relies on the Echo Liquid Handler from Labcyte, which uses acoustic energy to enable precise screening of potential therapies in a high-throughput, cost-effective manner.
Just how personalized is today’s personalized medicine? Krister Wennerberg, Labcyte customer and collaborator at Finland’s Institute for Molecular Medicine (FIMM) discussed the topic on Mendelspod, highlighting a novel way that his institute is combining different types of studies to make treatment more individualized.
FIMM’s “individualized systems medicine” combines traditional molecular profiling with functional profiling and clinical information in order to get a better picture of the patient’s disease, he explains. The group first tested this approach, which involves taking primary cells from patients and testing their cells ex vivo with a variety of drugs to see what kills the cancer, in patients with late-stage leukemia. The idea is to have a quick way of predicting what a patient might respond to... LISTEN TO PODCAST
Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) Special Issue February 2016
Kristin Blom, et al.
Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University
Although medical cancer treatment has improved during the past decades, it is difficult to choose between several first-line treatments supposed to be equally active in the diagnostic group. It is even more difficult to select a treatment after the standard protocols have failed. Any guidance for selection of the most effective treatment is valuable at these critical stages. We describe the principles and procedures for ex vivo assessment of drug activity in tumor cells from patients as a basis for tailored cancer treatment. Patient tumor cells are assayed for cytotoxicity with a panel of drugs. Acoustic drug dispensing provides great flexibility in the selection of drugs for testing; currently, up to 80 compounds and/or combinations thereof may be tested for each patient. Drug response predictions are obtained by classification using an empirical model based on historical responses for the diagnosis. The laboratory workflow is supported by an integrated system that enables rapid analysis and automatic generation of the clinical referral response.
Test drug combinations, antibodies, and siRNA molecules to identify impacts to cell function or cell toxicity. Echo Liquid Handlers reliably transfer low volumes of compounds and samples to allow assay miniaturization while improving assay sensitivity and reproducibility. Rapid any well to any well transfers accelerate assay set-up and simplify drug combination screening.
Recently identified associations between variants of cancer genes and drug resistance highlight the value of performing comprehensive functional screening in combination with molecular profiling of cancer cells. In cancer research, the information from functional screening can be used to improve the precision of therapy offered to patients. This can involve treatment with re-purposed therapeutics, novel therapeutics, or combinations of therapeutics. Comparing drug sensitivity information along with the molecular profile of certain cancer cells can also enable the identification of underlying genetic links to drug resistance.
As functional screening programs scale up, operational costs can become problematic, potentially delaying the more widespread implementation of the technique. Researchers have found that miniaturization from the use of acoustic liquid handling instead of traditional methods has increased the overall efficiency of functional screening by lowering costs while improving data quality and throughput. Echo® Dose-Response software enables DIRECT DILUTION and normalization of simple or complex concentration curves from a range of sample types. With direct dilution, Echo Liquid Handlers produce dose-response assays without the risk of carryover or contamination common to tip-based serial dilution methods.
on Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and LeukemiaPharmacological Profiles of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatments in Patient Samples by Automated Flow Cytometry: A Bridge to Individualized Medicine T Bennett, et. al., Vivia Biotech, Spain
on PLOS ONEIdentification of Drug Combinations Containing Imatinib for Treatment of BCR-ABL+ Leukemias Yunyi Kang, et. al., Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
on Blood Cancer JournalDrug screen in patient cells suggests quinacrine to be repositioned for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia A Eriksson, et. al., Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University
on NatureAxitinib effectively inhibits BCR-ABL1 (T315I) with a distinct binding conformation T. Pemovska, et. al., Nature, 2015
on Blood Cancer JournalNovel Drug Candidates for Blast Phase Chronic Myeloid Leukemia from High-Throughput Drug Sensitivity and Resistance Testing P. Pietarinen, et. al., Blood Cancer Journal, 2015
on Cancer DiscoveryIndividualized Systems Medicine (ISM) strategy to tailor treatments for patients with chemorefractory acute myeloid leukemia T. Pemovska, et. al., Cancer Discovery, 2013