Nature Communications publishes Bluestar Genomics' technology for cancer detection study

October 20, 2020

Bluestar Genomics, an innovative company leading the development of next-generation epigenomic approaches to early cancer detection, announced today the publication of study results in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications. The study demonstrates the power of the company's platform to detect pancreatic cancer in its early stages, addressing the unmet need of more than 60,000 patients diagnosed with the disease each year in the United States alone. The research shows that utilizing Bluestar's epigenomic technology to analyze a simple blood draw effectively identifies the presence of pancreatic cancer in patients' DNA circulating in their blood, enabling non-invasive, precise detection of the disease, which could lead to more timely treatment and improved patient survival.

"Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease with no current screening methods for the larger population," said Samuel Levy, Ph.D., chief executive and chief scientific officer at Bluestar Genomics, and the senior author of the study. "The Nature Communications publication demonstrates that our technology provides a crucial foundation for the development of a screening test that will set a new standard for liquid biopsies and the future of cancer screening."

Published results from a study of 307 patients, including both men and women ages 40 or older, showed that Bluestar Genomics' technology identified distinctive patterns in thousands of genes that could serve as a biomarker for blood-based pancreatic cancer detection to enable the development of a future cancer screening test. The study includes application of the detection strategy to novel samples not included in the development set, providing validation that holds promise for early-stage detection in larger patient groups.

"Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and the absence of a robust screening test in clinical care means that this cancer is often detected at an advanced stage, leaving patients with fewer treatment options," said Kelly Bethel, M.D., chief medical officer at Bluestar Genomics. Gulfem Guler, Ph.D, the lead author of the study and Bluestar Genomics' lead scientist on pancreatic cancer research further stated, "This publication demonstrates that the utilization of our epigenetics platform can identify tumor biology in plasma earlier, which can bring the possibility of earlier treatment options to patients, potentially increasing their survival."

In pancreatic cancer patients, circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA are shed into the blood and can be easily obtained through a blood draw, providing a unique potential for early diagnosis, forecasting disease prognosis, and monitoring of therapeutic response.

Unlike current diagnostic methods that rely on disease tissue to characterize the condition, Bluestar Genomics' blood-based 5hmC assay is able to detect signals of disease in a patient's plasma via DNA-based changes found in gene and gene regulatory regions.

This study's results strongly suggest that a clinical test employing newly identified biomarkers may promote more effective early-stage pancreatic cancer screening, which has significant value since many patients do not show symptoms until the disease has advanced to a late stage. Based on the results published in Nature Communications and inspired by the collaboration with its research and patient advocate partners, Bluestar will continue its development work required to commercialize a test in the coming years.
About Bluestar Genomics

Bluestar Genomics develops next-generation epigenomic approaches to detect deadly cancers, like pancreatic, early when curative therapies are possible. Founded out of Dr. Stephen Quake's Stanford laboratory, Bluestar Genomics combines novel epigenomic technologies with its innovative machine learning architecture to tackle the most urgent challenges such as cancer detection. Leveraging the ease of liquid biopsy technologies, the company's cell-free DNA-based assays are targeting early cancer detection using simple and noninvasive blood draws to improve outcomes and save lives. Led by a team with decades of experience bringing products from concept to market, Bluestar Genomics is continuously seeking better ways to measure disease pathology and bring its technologies to the patients, clinicians, scientists, and investors searching for tomorrow's cures.

EAG Advertising & Marketing

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to