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Recent News

SEngine Precision Medicine Presents Data at 2021 AACR Annual Meeting Demonstrating Clinical Utility and Predictive Value of PARIS® Test in Ovarian Cancer
APRIL 13, 2021
SEngine Precision Medicine Presents Data at 2021 AACR Annual Meeting Demonstrating Clinical Utility and Predictive Value of PARIS® Test in Ovarian Cancer

SEATTLE, April 13, 2021 -- SEngine Precision Medicine, a precision oncology company that pre-tests drugs on patient-derived live tumor specimens employing its CLIA certified PARIS® Test, today presented results from an ovarian cancer study indicating strong predictive value of the PARIS® Test (abstract number 534) at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, taking place virtually from April 10-15, 2021.

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2021 Functional Precision Medicine in Blood Cancer Symposium
MARCH 8, 2021
2021 Functional Precision Medicine in Blood Cancer Symposium

We cordially invite you to the 2021 Functional Precision Medicine in Blood Cancer Symposium that will be hosted in the context of a European Functional Precision Medicine Initiative in cooperation with the EHA-SWG Functional Precision Hematology, and the Society for Functional Precision Medicine. The symposium will take place March 25-26th, 2021 – virtual - and will bring together global experts on high-throughput drug screening, precision medicine and blood cancer. You’ll see familiar faces from the SfPM and more!


Please click the button below to register. To preview the schedule, please click here.

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Two postdoc positions in computational cancer biology at NTNU
JANUARY 28, 2021
Two postdoc positions in computational cancer biology at NTNU

Are you a computational biologist or bioinformatician eager to apply your skills and ingenuity to tackle cancer? We open two postdoc researcher positions at NTNU as part of our ERA PerMed project ONCOLOGICS. The two appointed postdocs will work in close collaboration with each other and with a large research team from leading European research organizations.

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Plenary Sesion - A podcast on medicine, oncology, & health policy
OCTOBER 22, 2020
Plenary Sesion - A podcast on medicine, oncology, & health policy

Dr Anthony Letai sits down with Dr Vinay Prasad for a an episode of Plenary Session where Dr Letai speaks about precision oncology, the Match trial and NGS in cancer. Be sure to check it out!

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Sequential combinations of chemotherapeutic agents with BH3 mimetics to treat rhabdomyosarcoma and avoid resistance
AUGUST 17, 2020
Sequential combinations of chemotherapeutic agents with BH3 mimetics to treat rhabdomyosarcoma and avoid resistance

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in childhood and adolescence. Refractory/relapsed RMS patients present a bad prognosis that combined with the lack of specific biomarkers impairs the development of new therapies. Here, we utilize dynamic BH3 profiling (DBP), a functional predictive biomarker that measures net changes in mitochondrial apoptotic signaling, to identify anti-apoptotic adaptations upon treatment. We employ this information to guide the use of BH3 mimetics to specifically inhibit BCL-2 pro-survival proteins, defeat resistance and avoid relapse.

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Tumor Organoids for Functional Precision Oncology
JULY 15, 2020
Tumor Organoids for Functional Precision Oncology

Researchers are using patient-derived tumor organoids to match patients with optimal treatments - When most people think of precision cancer medicine, they think of genomics, with researchers trying to decipher complex gene interactions for the clinical benefit of patients. But according to Dr. Christopher Kemp, a cancer biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, that is a narrow view: “[Genomics] is important, but it’s not the whole puzzle by any stretch.”

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Predicting response to therapy with BH3 profiling - Authored by SFPM President Anthony Letai, PhD
JUNE 29, 2020
Predicting response to therapy with BH3 profiling - Authored by SFPM President Anthony Letai, PhD

Anthony Letai, PhD gives an overview of how BH3 profiling can be used to predict response to therapy. “There is an enormous amount of actionable information that can be obtained from taking the actual cancer cell you’re interested in and subjecting it to a relevant perturbation, that is, exposing it to the actual drugs,” he said. “We nearly completely overlook this in today’s precision medicine approaches, and I think there is enormous unrealized potential in this general approach.”

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High-throughput dynamic BH3 profiling may quickly and accurately predict effective therapies in solid tumors - Authored by Letai Lab member Patrick Bhola, PhD
JUNE 29, 2020
High-throughput dynamic BH3 profiling may quickly and accurately predict effective therapies in solid tumors - Authored by Letai Lab member Patrick Bhola, PhD

“Cancer cells that are cultured for extended periods of time can undergo a variety of changes and may not be representative of the tumor cells that are actually in a mouse or human,” says study first author Patrick Bhola, PhD, of Dana-Farber. “The challenge has been to create a drug-screening technique that shrinks the gap between tumor cells in the body and the cells we do the screening on. The technique we’ve developed helps to accomplish that.” Read Dana Farber’s press release about HT-DBP technology for more information.

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AACR Virtual Meeting - Dharma Master Jiantai Symposium in Targeted Therapy: Functional Precision Medicine - Techniques, Uses, and Challenges
JUNE 16, 2020
AACR Virtual Meeting - Dharma Master Jiantai Symposium in Targeted Therapy: Functional Precision Medicine - Techniques, Uses, and Challenges

Because each patient’s cancer is unique, novel approaches are needed to translate clinical and genomic diagnostics to actionable information. While the concept of directly studying a given patient’s tumor cells using functional assays is simple and appealing, the execution is not. Major challenges include technical, analytical, and regulatory, as well as inherent skepticism concerning the use of personalized models for functional testing. Benefits include the ability to functionally interrogate an actual patient’s cancer in unprecedented detail using high throughput assays. This session will present strategies to overcome major challenges and will discuss different applications of functional testing including target identification, preclinical drug and companion diagnostic development, and identification of potentially effective drugs for cancer patients in real time. Attendees will gain an appreciation of how functional testing of patient derived tumor cells can reveal novel insights into cancer biology and accelerate the goals of precision medicine.

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Humans of Banbury: Interview with Christopher Kemp, PhD
MARCH 13, 2020
Humans of Banbury: Interview with Christopher Kemp, PhD

Last month, the Banbury Center held its “CSHL Technology and Education Council: Challenges and Promise in Precision Medicine” meeting (February 18-20). During this time, I was able to meet with Christopher Kemp, Ph.D., and learn about the oncology research he performs and how he’s hoping to make a difference through it. Dr. Kemp, a Full Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, received his doctorate in oncology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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Acute Myeloid Leukemia - Co-Authored by Board Member Jeff Tyner
FEBRUARY 28, 2020
Acute Myeloid Leukemia - Co-Authored by Board Member Jeff Tyner

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) results from the enhanced proliferation and impaired differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Using an ex vivo functional screening assay, we identified that the combination of the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib and BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax (IBR + VEN), currently in clinical trials for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), demonstrated enhanced efficacy on primary AML patient specimens, AML cell lines, and in a mouse xenograft model of AML.

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Increased mitochondrial apoptotic priming with targeted therapy predicts clinical response to re-induction chemotherapy.
FEBRUARY 27, 2020
Increased mitochondrial apoptotic priming with targeted therapy predicts clinical response to re-induction chemotherapy.

Most patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) do not benefit from current re-induction or approved targeted therapies. In the absence of targetable genetic mutations, there is minimal guidance on optimal treatment selection particularly in the R/R setting highlighting an unmet need for clinically useful functional biomarkers. Blood and bone marrow samples from patients treated on two clinical trials were used to test the combination of lenalidomide (LEN) and MEC (mitoxantrone, etoposide, and cytarabine) chemotherapy in R/R AML patients.

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Congratulations to our Board member Jeff Tyner!
JANUARY 06, 2020
Congratulations to our Board member Jeff Tyner!

Jeffrey Tyner, Ph.D., has received an Emerging Leader Award from @TheMarkFdn for Cancer Research. The award will support his research seeking combinations of anticancer agents able to stop #AML by targeting unique vulnerabilities among patients.

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Congrats to our board member Sara Cherry on receiving the Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award!
NOVEMBER 25, 2019
Congrats to our board member Sara Cherry on receiving the Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award!

Congratulations to Sara Cherry on her well-deserved Penn Medicine Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award! In recognition of an outstanding body of work in Biomedical Research!

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Dynamic Tumor Cell Profiling Technique Correlates With Therapy Responses
NOVEMBER 08, 2019
Dynamic Tumor Cell Profiling Technique Correlates With Therapy Responses

A technique involving BH3 profiling is emerging as a promising drug discovery tool for assessing whether a tumor is primed for cell death and would respond to anticancer therapy, according to a presentation at the 2019 Association for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting.

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Christopher Kemp and Carla Grandori: The Promise of Functional Precision Medicine
OCTOBER 01, 2019
Christopher Kemp and Carla Grandori: The Promise of Functional Precision Medicine

Remarkable advances in genomic profiling of tumors have not translated easily into effective personalized therapies for many patients. Functional precision medicine brings forward an alternative approach, one where the drug-sensitivity phenotype of individual tumors is layered onto the genotype information. Christopher Kemp hail- ing from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and Carla Grandori jointly founded Cure First and SEngine Precision Medicine, organizations that are advancing the implementation of cancer functional testing. Here they discuss the chal- lenges and multiple opportunities lying ahead to enable the adoption of functional approaches to precision therapy in oncology.

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Tumor Organoids Hold Promise for Personalizing Cancer Therapy
JULY 15, 2019
Tumor Organoids Hold Promise for Personalizing Cancer Therapy

As researchers improve ways to quickly and cheaply sequence DNA, the concept of precision medicine is gaining a foothold in the medical community. When it comes to cancer, a disease that leaves its mark in a patient's genome, sequencing tumor DNA to tailor treatment plans to individuals seems an obvious application of the technology. "The idea of precision medicine as in individualized treatment, I think that makes so much sense," says Alice Soragni, a cancer biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine. "When you work with a few of these tumors, each and every one is a bit different."

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Working group meeting on functional precision medicine in Vienna, Austria.
MARCH 12, 2019
Working group meeting on functional precision medicine in Vienna, Austria.

Excellent science, here by Dr. Tony Letai, followed by a proper Austrian dinner.

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A simple high-throughput approach identifies actionable drug sensitivities in patient-derived tumor organoids
FEBRUARY 25, 2019
A simple high-throughput approach identifies actionable drug sensitivities in patient-derived tumor organoids

Tumor organoids maintain cell–cell interactions, heterogeneity, microenvironment, and drug response of the sample they originate from. Thus, there is increasing interest in developing tumor organoid models for drug development and personalized medicine applications. Although organoids are in principle amenable to high-throughput screenings, progress has been hampered by technical constraints and extensive manipulations required by current methods.

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