Biocept collaborates in study analyzing biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid of NSCLC patients

March 21, 2016 – SAN DIEGO.  Biocept, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company commercializing and developing liquid biopsies to improve the detection and treatment of cancer, announces a collaboration on a biopharmaceutical company clinical trial analyzing biomarkers using both circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The trial is being conducted in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has spread to the brain or membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, known as leptomeningeal disease. 

“Our technology has the high sensitivity required to detect biomarkers using both CTCs and ctDNA in fluids beyond blood, including CSF,” said Biocept President and CEO Michael W. Nall. ”This is particularly significant as collecting tissue in patients with leptomeningeal disease through a standard invasive surgical biopsy is impossible in most cases due to the risk associated with a brain biopsy. As newer targeted therapies for these cancers become available, the ability to conduct molecular analysis on CSF using liquid biopsy will become increasingly important.” 

Brain metastases and leptomeningeal disease are prevalent in patients with solid tumors, including those with NSCLC. Radiation therapy has been used to control the symptoms of these patients, due to the inability of the majority of available therapeutic drugs to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the body’s natural defense system. However, new therapeutic molecules in development are demonstrating the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier more effectively, thus providing the potential for new therapeutic options.  

“Finding effective treatments for patients with brain metastases and leptomeningeal disease is a critical unmet medical need because of the inability of most drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier,” said Veena Singh, M.D., Senior Vice President and Senior Medical Director of Biocept. “The data from this trial could provide further clinical validation of Biocept’s liquid biopsy tests to detect and monitor important biomarkers in CSF.” 

Marileila Varella Garcia, Ph.D., Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Biocept Scientific Advisor, said, “Biocept’s capability to analyze both intact tumor cells and fragments of tumor DNA in CSF affords a more comprehensive analysis of biomarkers for emerging DNA, RNA and proteomic targeted therapies. The detection of these biomarkers could help to qualify patients for treatment with both new and existing therapies, which could lead to improved patient outcomes.”

SOURCE Biocept, Inc.