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SAN DIEGO, CA, United States

Knezevic J.,Baylor College of Medicine | Pfefferle A.D.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Petrovic I.,Baylor College of Medicine | Greene S.B.,Epic Sciences, Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2015

Claudin-low tumors are a highly aggressive breast cancer subtype with no targeted treatments and a clinically documented resistance to chemotherapy. They are significantly enriched in cancer stem cells (CSCs), which makes claudin-low tumor models particularly attractive for studying CSC behavior and developing novel approaches to minimize CSC therapy resistance. One proposed mechanism by which CSCs arise is via an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and reversal of this process may provide a potential therapeutic approach for increasing tumor chemosensitivity. Therefore, we investigated the role of known EMT regulators, miR-200 family of microRNAs in controlling the epithelial state, stem-like properties and therapeutic response in an in vivo primary, syngeneic p53null claudin-low tumor model that is normally deficient in miR-200 expression. Using an inducible lentiviral approach, we expressed the miR-200c cluster in this model and found that it changed the epithelial state, and consequently, impeded CSC behavior in these mesenchymal tumors. Moreover, these state changes were accompanied by a decrease in proliferation and an increase in the differentiation status. miR-200c expression also forced a significant reorganization of tumor architecture, affecting important cellular processes involved in cell-cell contact, cell adhesion and motility. Accordingly, induced miR200c expression significantly enhanced the chemosensitivity and decreased the metastatic potential of this p53 null claudin-low tumor model. Collectively, our data suggest that miR-200c expression in claudin-low tumors offers a potential therapeutic application to disrupt the EMT program on multiple fronts in this mesenchymal tumor subtype, by altering tumor growth, chemosensitivity and metastatic potential in vivo. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source


Patent
Epic Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2015-01-26

The present invention describes a method for detecting castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in a patient afflicted with prostate cancer comprising (a) performing a direct analysis comprising immunofluorescent staining and morphological characterization of nucleated cells in a blood sample obtained from the patient to detect circulating tumor cells (CTC), (b) determining prevalence of a CTC subpopulation associated with CRPC comprising detecting a measurable feature of each biomarker in a panel of morphological and protein biomarkers, and (c) comparing the prevalence of said CTC subpopulation to a predetermined threshold value, wherein the prevalence of the CTC subpopulation associated with CRPC above said predetermined threshold value is indicative of CRPC. In some embodiments, the CTC subpopulation associated with CRPC comprises CK CTCs. In some embodiments, the CTC subpopulation associated with CRPC comprises small CTCs. In additional embodiments, the methods of the invention further comprise molecular analysis of the CTCs.


The present invention describes a method for detecting NEPC in a patient afflicted with prostate cancer comprising (a) performing a direct analysis comprising immunofluorescent staining and morphological characterization of nucleated cells in a blood sample obtained from the patient to detect circulating tumor cells (CTC), and (b) determining presence or absence of a CTC subpopulation associated with NEPC comprising detecting a measurable feature of each biomarker in a panel of morphological and protein biomarkers, wherein the presence of the CTC subpopulation associated with NEPC is indicative of NEPC. In other embodiments, the biomarkers for the CTC subpopulation associated with NEPC comprise small size, absence of Androgen Receptor (AR


Patent
Epic Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2012-01-23

The present application provides methods for obtaining single cells from a sample. Methods for isolating and analyzing molecular features obtained from a single cell are also disclosed herein. For example, individual circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a sample such as a patients blood sample can be identified and obtained using methods disclosed herein, and picked for further analysis.


The disclosure provides a method of predicting resistance to androgen receptor (AR) targeted therapy in a prostate cancer patient comprising (a) performing a direct analysis comprising immunofluorescent staining and morphological characterization of nucleated cells in a blood sample obtained from the patient to identify circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and (b) based on said direct analysis further determining the presence of a biomarker signature that is predictive of resistance to AR targeted therapy in the prostate cancer patient, wherein the biomarker signature comprises CK+, AR+, nucleoli+ CTCs in a subpopulation of said CTCs. The present disclosure also provides a method of predicting resistance to taxane-based chemotherapy in a prostate cancer patient comprising (a) performing a direct analysis comprising immunofluorescent staining and morphological characterization of nucleated cells in a blood sample obtained from the patient to identify circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and (b) based on said direct analysis further determining the presence of a biomarker signature that is predictive of resistance to taxane-based chemotherapy in the prostate cancer patient, wherein the biomarker signature comprises CK+, AR, nucleoli+, small size in a subpopulation of said CTCs.

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