Study Finds CIVO Technology Enables Assessment of Multiple Cancer Drugs and Predicts Response

A microinjection platform enables assessment of multiple cancer drugs directly in tumors and predicts systemic response to the drugs, a new study found.

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Presage Biosciences found that a newly developed technology for simultaneously comparing response to multiple cancer drugs or combinations while a tumor is still in a patient’s body has been shown to accurately predict response to the drugs. The technology, called CIVO, consists of an arrayed microinjection drug delivery device and quantitative analysis methodology.

The findings of the study were published online ahead of the May issue of Science Translational Medicine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“Currently, only 7 percent of new oncology drug candidates that demonstrate anti-cancer activity in preclinical studies subsequently demonstrate sufficient efficacy in clinical trials to warrant FDA approvals,” said Jim Olson, MD, PhD, Member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutch, a pediatric oncologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Founder of Presage. “As a practicing pediatric oncologist, I deal every day with the limitations of current cancer therapies, and I’ve made it my life’s work to help find solutions to this challenge. We developed CIVO because patients desperately need better approaches to identify treatments that will provide benefit and improve patient survival.”

CIVO enables the placement of multiple columns of drugs for analysis directly into the tumor, spanning the full depth of the tumor, making it possible to assess drug effects with multiple biomarkers and in various regions along the injection axis to capture the heterogeneity of response within the tumor. The tumor is then resected for subsequent analysis, and responses are measured with multiple immunohistochemistry-based assays and high-resolution scanning.

The technology bypasses bioavailability, biodistribution, metabolism, and excretion issues associated with systemic dosing intentionally, in order to focus on whether a drug engages its target, how cancer cells respond to target engagement, and whether the fate of the exposed cells indicates potential for patient therapeutic response, all in context of a tumor microenvironment.

“We have employed CIVO to investigate drug response earlier in the development process as it enables evaluation of multiple drugs and combinations efficiently and directly in the native tumor microenvironment,” said Rajesh Chopra, Corporate Vice President of Translational Research at Celgene. “Presage’s approach is entirely novel and has demonstrated the ability to characterize tumor heterogeneity and drug resistance and has shown the potential to address these challenges through novel drug combinations.”

Source: Presage Biosciences

Last updated: 4/22/15; 4:00pm EST

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