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Researchers Able to Identify that Benign Tumors from Use of Oral Contraceptive Have a Greater Chance of Becoming Malignant

Although very rare, the use of oral contraceptive can lead to benign tumors in the liver. The tumors, known as hepatocellular adenomas, can become malignant. It is, however, difficult for physicians to assess the risk of these tumors becoming malignant.

Matrix-Bio Options Metabolite Biomarker Technology from Purdue University to Evaluate Opportunities for New Cancer Diagnostic Tests

Matrix-Bio Inc., a diagnostics company that uses metabolite profiling to detect cancer and other diseases, has signed an exclusive agreement with the Purdue Research Foundation optioning metabolite biomarker technology and eight patent applications to evaluate the commercial potential of cancer diagnostics tests based on the technologies.

The optioned technologies include metabolite biomarkers for detecting esophageal, liver, pancreatic and colon cancer; for identifying liver cancer in patients with hepatitis C; and for predicting preoperative chemotherapy effectiveness for breast cancer treatment. Matrix-Bio’s agreement is for one year with an option to extend the agreement. No other terms of the agreement were released.

The new agreement builds on the existing master license agreement between Matrix-Bio and Purdue Research Foundation for breast cancer biomarkers and metabolite profiling technology developed by Dan Raftery, Matrix-Bio chief scientific officer and founder, while he was a member of the Purdue University research faculty. Raftery is now director of the Northwest Metabolomics Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, and is also a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, one of the world’s leading cancer research centers.

Matrix-Bio CEO Eric Beier said the agreement will enable the company to significantly expand its pipeline of cancer detection and monitoring tests, further advancing the company’s leadership in metabolomics-based cancer diagnostic technologies.

“Metabolite profiling is an emerging field of diagnostics that looks at the changes in small molecule biomarkers in cells. Patterns of these metabolite biomarkers in the blood are altered when cancer is present,” Beier said. “Dr. Raftery’s technology identifies metabolic changes with very high sensitivity and specificity, and can detect various cancers in early, more treatable stages more accurately than currently available tests. Studies have also demonstrated that metabolite profiling can assist in monitoring cancer treatment.”

The announcement comes on the heels of an exclusive global licensing and marketing agreement for metabolomic biomarkers Matrix-Bio signed with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. Under the agreement, Quest Diagnostics has the rights to use the Matrix-Bio biomarkers for the future, potential development of a clinical lab-developed test to aid in the detection of breast cancer recurrence. Quest Diagnostics also has the option to pursue an appropriate regulatory pathway for an in vitro diagnostic version of the test. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Source: Business Wire

Plasma Biomarkers in Liver Cancer Refine Stratification of Patient Risk

According to an Internal Medicine News report, data presented at the 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting on gastrointestinal cancers in January sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggests that a simple blood test may improve on systems conventionally used to estimate prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

CXCL10 is a Negative Prognostic Biomarker of Viral Clearance in Chronic HCV Patients

French researchers recently analyzed chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients to identify plasma biomarkers for response to therapy. They identified CXCL10 as a negative prognostic biomarker of viral clearance.