ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) has highlighted new research published by the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany which it said has demonstrated the ability of its Parsortix liquid biopsy system to harvest circulating tumour cells (CTCs) with a mesenchymal phenotype, which can be used to detect the metastatic biomarker cysteine-rich angiogenetic inducer 61 (Cyr61) in breast cancer patients.
The liquid biopsy specialist said the Cyr61 protein is a potent regulator of many cellular functions important in cancer development and potentially plays a role in the progression of tumours and resistance to anti-cancer drugs.
In the study, researchers found that Cyr61 was over-expressed in 43% of CTCs isolated from 35 breast cancer patients. In addition, they were able to demonstrate in breast cancer cell-lines that the loss of Cyr61 reduced the viability of tumour cells by decreasing cancer cell proliferation and cell survival. As such, Cyr61 might serve as a novel marker for CTCs and disseminated tumour cells (DTCs) similar to those found in the bone marrow and help identify cells with a more aggressive phenotype.
As a result, the company said the identification of Cyr61 could represent a target for the development of novel anti-metastatic drugs, adding that the study showed that harvesting and analysing CTCs can provide “insight into molecular mechanisms of cancer cell resistance and metastatic spread” which in turn could have the potential as a novel therapeutic target in treating drug-resistant breast cancers.
“This new study observed that mesenchymal DTCs are strongly positive for PD-L1 and Cyr61 and that Cyr61/PD-L1 double-positive DTCs may escape the immune system and establish distant metastasis. Cyr61 might therefore serve as a novel biomarker for a subset of CTCs and DTCs with high plasticity in breast cancer. In addition, Cyr61 might represent an interesting anti-metastatic target that could be explored in future studies”, ANGLE chief executive Andrew Newland said in a statement.
“Use of the Parsortix system in uncovering potential new therapeutic targets through its ability to harvest mesenchymal as well as epithelial CTCs for analysis provides yet further evidence of its advantages over other liquid biopsy approaches. ANGLE’s ability to provide this actionable information should prove highly attractive to drug developers looking for new approaches for hard-to-treat cancers and bodes well for the forthcoming launch of our new pharmaceutical services business”, he added.
Story by ProactiveInvestors
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