liquid biopsy technology illustration

Thoracic Oncology and Translational Research at UCLA

Lab on a Chip Publication

An article discussing vortex-mediated deformability cytometry (VDC) for the use of isolating, enumerating and characterizing the biophysical properties of circulating tumor cells was recently published in Lab on a Chip. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cells that have been shed into the circulatory system from a primary tumor. CTCs are indicative of metastatic cancer and can be procured through a simple and minimally invasive blood draw. However, in order to be useful, CTCs must first be isolated and distinguished from a large background of other cells. Current methods to identify CTCs have not been shown to be satisfactorily reliable. The article outlines the VDC technology as more reliable approach to isolating, enumerating, and characterizing the biophysical properties of CTCs. VDC technology demonstrated a comparable positive detection rate of reported CTCs above healthy baseline (93.8%) with respect to standard methods such as immunofluorescence (71.4%).

Good News for Satellite Sites: Checkmate 384 and KEYNOTE-407 Expand enrollment

We are happy to announce that two immunotherapy trials, Checkmate 384 and KEYNOTE- 407, are expanding enrollment to UCLA satellite sites. Checkmate 384 is a dose frequency optimization trial of nivolumab in patients with Stage IIIB or Stage IV squamous or non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. This study will investigate whether or not progression-free survival at 6 months and at 1 year after receiving twice the dose of nivolumab half as frequently is inferior to nivolumab 240 mg every 2 weeks. To be eligible, patients can have received up to 12 months of nivolumab therapy at either 3mg/kg or 240 mg every 2 weeks with either complete response, partial response, or stable disease. Patients will receive either 240 mg of nivolumab every 2 weeks or 480 mg nivolumab every 4 weeks until progression or unacceptable toxicity. KEYNOTE-407 is a randomized, double-blind, phase III study of carboplatin-paclitaxel/nabpaclitaxel chemotherapy with or without pembrolizumab in patients with metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Patients in the experimental arm will receive pembrolizumab 200 mg by infusion prior to chemotherapy on Day 1 of each 21-day cycle for up to 35 cycles plus Investigator’s choice of paclitaxel plus carboplatin or nab-paclitaxel plus carboplatin for 4 cycles. Patients in the comparator arm will receive blinded normal saline by infusion prior to chemotherapy on Day 1 of each 21-day cycle for up to 35 cycles plus Investigator’s choice of paclitaxel plus carboplatin or nab-paclitaxel plus carboplatin for 4 cycles. The Checkmate 384 study is open to enrollment at UCLA Main campus, Alhambra, Burbank, Pasadena, Porter Ranch, Torrance, Valencia, and West Lake as well as sites in the TRIO-US network including Fullerton, Bakersfield, Santa Maria, Redondo Beach, Ft. Wayne, IN, Hollywood, FL, Wichita, KS, and Paducah KY. KEYNOTE-407 is open to enrollment at UCLA Main Campus, Pasadena, and West Lake Village.

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