NanoString teams up with NCI to improve immunotherapy biomarker discovery

NanoString Technologies, Inc., has reportedly announced its move to join forces with National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP). The collaboration aims to enable the clinical authentication and utility of novel immune based gene signatures for supplementing improved treatment decisions.

For the record, NanoString is a publicly traded biotech company that develops life science tools for translational research and cancer diagnostics, providing impetus to the global genetic testing industry. The company has developed the PanCancer IO360 gene expression panel which consists of 770 genes and is designed for detecting targetable therapeutic pathways by capitalizing on several gene signatures to define key biological processes.

Incidentally, the collaboration between NanoString and NCI/CTEP will support the incorporation of the PanCancer IO360 panel into selected active and future NCI sponsored trials. These trials are intended to implement novel strategies for correlating therapeutic treatments and patient response from a wide range of tumor types.

Sources confirm that the PanCancer panel is developed based on the Tumor Inflammation Signature (TIS) which has 18 genes and measures the presence or absence of superficially suppressed adaptive immune response within tumors. PanCancer IO360 contains additional gene expressions to characterize the existence of immune cells in tumors and prominent biological activities like Interferon cell signaling, appearance of immune checkpoint molecules, antigenic burden, and vascularization. These trials will evidently drive genetic testing market trends for cancer diagnostic, claim experts.

Alessandra Cesano, Chief Medical Officer at NanoString, believes that this collaboration has provided an exceptional opportunity to apply the latest generation of transcriptional profiling tools in clinical trials to accentuate the progress and implementation of novel immunotherapies and cancer diagnostics.

Reportedly, Dr. Stephen Hodi who is the Director of the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will be leading one of the very first NCI sponsored clinical trials. He articulated the importance of expanding the gene profiling by stating that these trials will assist medical investigators to comprehend and predict responses to novel immuno-modulatory combinations.