THE SCIENCE OF BIODESIX
How can liquid biopsy change the current paradigm?
In contrast to tissue biopsy, “liquid” biopsies or blood tests are convenient, simple and non-invasive (no surgery). Incorporating liquid biopsy tests into clinical practice provides a fast turn-around to test results which, in turn, inform earlier treatment decisions. Any patient who can provide a blood sample has access to liquid biopsies which can be initiated as early as diagnosis. The tumor cells and tumor DNA are shed into the blood stream and can be readily detected by sensitive analytical instruments. Unlike a surgical tumor biopsy, via a simple blood draw, liquid-based biopsy can measure the DNA from all parts of the tumor(s), allows for serial monitoring of disease progression throughout the entire course of a patient’s disease, quantifying and qualifying actionable genomic changes, disease progression and response to cancer therapeutics.
GeneStrat® is our blood test that provides a targeted mutation profile of the tumor DNA that is released in the blood. Identifying these mutations can inform treatment decisions for targeted therapies and enables serial monitoring of some resistance mutations throughout a patient’s disease. Test results are returned to physicians within 72 hours of the blood draw enabling treatment planning sooner.
The Answers are in Your Blood – Integrating GeneStrat® and VeriStrat® into Clinical Practice
The tumor microenvironment and the patient’s response to the tumor both have a role in the progression of cancer. The microenvironment is a heterogeneous mixture of host and tumor cells that induce the production of molecules such as growth factors, which affect tumor growth and metastasis. The changes to the DNA of the tumor cells allow tumors to break through normal growth pathways, and while the patient’s system will attempt to shut off the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells through the immune system and other pathways, in some cases the tumors are more aggressive and win this battle and begin to spread. These biological reactions produce a variety of proteins that can be measured in a patient’s blood.
Biodesix uses blood testing, prior to first line therapy, to measure some of these proteins which are correlated to the patient’s cancer aggressiveness. In addition, disease aggressiveness and benefit from therapy can be measured upon disease progression. VeriStrat is the blood test that can provide these insights into a patient’s cancer and inform treatment decisions at diagnosis and subsequent lines of therapy.
Both the genetic makeup (mutations) of the tumor and the patient’s response to the tumor influence how the disease progresses. Understanding these multi-dimensional characteristics of cancer is essential to treatment planning. From a simple blood draw, GeneStrat and VeriStrat can provide fast, clinically actionable insights into the patient’s cancer.