Researchers Develop World’s First Blood Test For Real-Time M
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Cancer patients who are undergoing targeted therapy can look forward to a new blood test that could tell their doctors whether the treatment is working, within one day after the start of the treatment. This will significantly speed up the evaluation process and enable doctors to make adjustments to the treatment plan, if necessary, to improve patients’ chances of recovery.

Assistant Professor Shao Huilin and her research team from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Institute for Health Innovation & Technology (iHealthtech) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a technology that is accurate, less invasive and significantly brings forward the evaluation window, by using liquid biopsies.

~ Success rate available in 24 hours after cancer treatment

The technique, termed extracellular vesicle monitoring of small-molecule chemical occupancy and protein [removed]ExoSCOPE), is the first of its kind in the world. It takes advantage of extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by cancer cells and circulating in blood as a reflective indicator of drug effectiveness in solid tumours.

This method requires only a tiny amount of blood sample for the analysis and each test takes less than one hour to complete. So, it is less invasive and yet more informative. In this way, doctors could monitor a patient’s response to treatment more regularly during the course of the treatment, and make timely adjustments to customise the treatment for better outcomes.

~ Sensitive measurement of drug interactions

ExoSCOPE is an integrated nanotechnology platform. It measures membrane vesicles of dimension at least a hundred times smaller than the diameter of human hair. During successful cancer treatment, when a targeted cancer drug attaches to a cancer cell, the treated cell will release into the bloodstream.

The ExoSCOPE platform harnesses a complementary approach of chemical biology and sensor development to measure these delicate drug changes. It contains millions of gold nanorings to capture the EVs and amplify their drug labelling signals to induce strong light signals. The team collected information on different types of EVs and their drug changes, when treated with various targeted therapies.

The platform not only identifies cancer-released EVs, but also monitors their drug dynamics over time to accurately distinguish treatment sensitivity and resistance.

~ Encouraging results from clinical study

In a clinical trial involving 163 blood samples from 106 patients, the ExoSCOPE has shown encouraging results on lung cancer patients to enable timely evaluation of patients’ targeted treatment outcomes. Compared against the gold standard of tumour volumetric imaging, which was performed at the end of the entire treatment regimen, the ExoSCOPE achieved an accuracy rate of 95 per cent, but within 24 hours of treatment initiation.

This technique’s superior analytical performance paves the way for the use of blood-borne EVs for monitoring different interactions between drugs and protein targets in the human body. “The ExoSCOPE presents a paradigm shift in blood-based drug evaluation for targeted drug selection and real-time treatment monitoring,” said Asst Prof Shao. “The technique can also empower the clinical community to make more timely treatment decisions.”

Source:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-021-00872-w
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Dr. A●●Y K●●●R G●●G Radiology
Is it supplimentary to liquid biopsy?
Jun 9, 2021Like