ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Acousys Biodevices, Inc., a company dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative technology to detect and automate the capture of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), today announced results from a promising proof-of-concept study will be presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The study evaluated the predictive use of the Company’s photoacoustic flow cytometer technology to detect CTCs in blood samples from Stage III melanoma patients. The details of the poster presentation are as follows:
Date and Time: Saturday, June 4, 2016, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDT
Abstract Title: Photoacoustic detection of circulating tumor cells in blood samples of Stage III melanoma patients
Abstract Number: 9555
Location: Hall A
Poster Board: #160
Poster Session: Melanoma/Skin Cancers
Presenter: John Viator, Ph. D., Chief Scientific Officer, Acousys Biodevices, Professor and Director, Biomedical Engineering Program, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Circulating tumor cells are recognized as indicators of metastatic spread of cancer via the lymph and circulatory systems1. Detection of metastases at a cellular level could potentially improve outcomes by supporting earlier treatment or more personalized patient care plans. Current imaging diagnostics require tumor formation of several millimeters before detection, which could equate to several months of undetectable growth.
The pilot proof-of-concept study tested blood samples, taken at the time of diagnosis, from 14 Stage III melanoma patients with surgically-resected high-risk disease who remained disease free or relapsed within two years of follow-up. The researchers used the Acousys photoacoustic flow cytometer to target pigmented circulating melanoma cells in which a laser pulse induced ultrasonic signatures in the melanoma cells, while not affecting the healthy cells. Only pigmented cells absorbed the laser light, resulting in photoacoustic waves detected by an acoustic transducer. The photoacoustic flow cytometer then counted and captured cells that generated photoacoustic waves. Results, which reached statistical significance (p-value = 0.1), accurately predicted the metastatic progression in the sample patients. Of the 8 patients who remained disease free, 2 had CMCs, 6 didn't. Of those who became metastatic, 5 had CMCs, 1 didn't.
“The data suggests we have a strong prognostic tool which warrants further testing for its ability to accurately detect early metastasis, capture intact CTCs and guide the management of advanced stage melanoma patients, as well as its potential use with other types of cancer where circulating tumor cells are known to be important predictors of metastatic disease, such as cancers of the pancreas, breast, and lung," said abstract lead author and Chief Scientific Officer of Acousys Biodevices, John A. Viator, Ph.D. “With our photoacoustic technology, we aim to usher in a new era of therapy in which advanced cancer is fought cell by cell, rather than against large, macroscopic tumors as is current practice.”
“A predictive diagnostic able to qualify and capture circulating tumor cells would have field-shifting benefits and allow clinicians an opportunity to make earlier therapeutic adjustments in the setting of resistance or progression,” commented Mark S. Cohen, MD, FACS Associate Chair in Surgery for Innovation, Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology, University of Michigan Health System.
A link to the abstract can be found here: http://abstract.asco.org/176/AbstView_176_169894.html
About Acousys Biodevices
Acousys Biodevices was formed in 2011, but its patents, technology, and intellectual property represent more than 50 years of experience and accomplishments by its co-founders. This life-long expertise – in the fields of biomedical optics and photoacoustic technology, immunology, biopharmaceutical discovery and development, biomedical and electrical engineering, physics and mathematics – have culminated in the first photoacoustic circulating tumor cell (CTC) detection technology to automate the capture and analysis of whole (not fragmented) CTCs. The company's patented platform is validated in melanoma with ongoing research and development underway to expand the platform to non-melanoma cancer applications.
CAUTION: Acousys Biodevices’ photoacoustic flow cytometry technology is not FDA cleared for sale in the United States.
1 S. Steen, J. Nemunaitis, T. Fisher, and J. Kuhn, “Circulating tumor cells in melanoma: a review of the literature and description of a novel technique,” Proceedings (Baylor University Medical Center) 21(2), pp. 127–132, 2008 PMC2277345.