Providing new possibilities for personalized cancer treatment
Accelerate Precision Medicine with Efficient Functional Screening
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.
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.
SEngine and Functional Screening
SEngine Precision Medicine
Dr. Carla Grandori and her team at SEngine Precision Medicine describe their goal to target and find specific vulnerability of individualized cancer cells by using the Echo acoustic liquid handling technology to test drug combination treatments and provide meaningful recommendations to oncologists.
FEATURED PODCAST on MENDELSPOD
Are we over relying on the genomics route getting us to biomedical research paradise? Should we be putting more eggs in other baskets?
After combing through lots of clinical trials data, Tony Letai of Dana Farber and the Broad, found that a majority of cancer patients have not benefited from precision medicine. In this Mendelspod podcast, he says we need to rethink our approach to cancer research and treatment.
Tony Letai, M.D., Ph.D., serves as the President of The Society for Functional Precision Medicine (SFPM). SFPM arose out of recognition of the unmet need in matching cancer patients to the therapies best for them. There is tremendous utility in exposing patient tumor cells directly to the drugs that could be used to treat them in order to do this matching. SFPM aims to bring cutting edge tools of tissue culture and analysis to bear on this strategy to create practical solutions. Their overriding mission is to accelerate the day when functional assays are a routine tool in the care of the cancer patients.
Miniaturization Reduces the Cost of Functional Screening
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.
Individualized Medicine: New Possibilities for Personalized Cancer Treatment
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland|FIMM
Commonly used cancer treatments are not always effective against malignantly transformed cells. Drug repositioning, the application of existing drugs not used currently against a given cancer, is a way to develop new treatments. In this film you can see how functional screening, the process by which patient cells are examined experimentally for response to various drugs or drug combinations, is performed at the Technology Centre of FIMM, the Institute for Molecular Medicine, Finland.
Ex Vivo Assessment of Drug Activity in Patient Tumor Cells as a Basis for Tailored Cancer Therapy
Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) Special Issue
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.