AACR 2023 Recap

Kirsty Maclean Ph.D

This year, the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research was held in Orlando, Florida, attracting over 21,000 global registrants and encompassing a packed program featuring a staggering 6,300 abstracts and more than 600 oral presentations showcasing improved outcomes, novel biomarker development and drug design together with cutting edge innovations that are truly transforming the pace of research in cancer biology. Shivaani Kummar, MD, the DeArmond Endowed Chair of Cancer Research, Co-director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics, and Deputy Director for Clinical & Translational Research at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University and co-chair of the AACR Annual Meeting Clinical Trials Committee noted, “We saw trials in four key areas this year — immunotherapy moving to early stages and novel combinations; success in targeting genetic abnormalities, particularly DNA damage response and RAS pathways; developing treatments for rare cancers; and bispecifics and novel agents for hematologic malignancies,”.

In many of the tumor indications highlighted during the conference, treatment selection often depends on the presence of specific tumor biomarkers, unfortunately as has become clear, due to the dynamic nature of cancer, very often these predictive biomarkers are not consistently present and today tumor heterogeneity still represents one of the main causes of therapeutic trial failure. To that end, evolving technology, especially in spatial insight from tissue biopsies and sensitive minimal residual disease (MRD) readouts from liquid biopsies, is playing an increasingly important role in cancer care. By improving our ability to dissect the complexity of the cancer ecosystem, including the cells and pathways involved, together with the use of minimally invasive approaches for the diagnosis and management of patients with cancer, these novel tools are helping improve doctors’ diagnostic and prognostic capabilities.

Alongside our collaborators, NeoGenomics presented exciting new data demonstrating the broad portfolio of services and available validated assays focused on tumor biology, including the use of RaDaR®, a personalized, highly-sensitive liquid biopsy sequencing test for the detection of MRD and recurrence. Further, we also highlighted our solutions to enable spatial insight, which, as alluded to earlier, was another hot topic at this year’s conference, especially around novel biomarker discovery beyond T cells to address the complexity of the immune network and tumor microenvironment (TME) from both tissue and blood-based samples. Our new data focused on the expression of cell types such as NK cells, that dictate the immune nature of the TME and determine whether immune anti-tumor responses will be enhanced or suppressed. An additional poster presentation also focused on characterizing the diversity of emerging checkpoints CD73 and CD39 that control the metabolic fate of ATP and adenosine in the extracellular environment. Given that these targets are often overexpressed in solid tumors and tumoral CD73 expression has been negatively correlated with immune cell infiltration of tumors, worse disease-free survival rate, and poorer overall survival in cancer patients, our data demonstrated that a better understanding of the variety and phenotype of both CD39 and CD73 expressing cells in the TME is crucial to define the populations being targeted by therapies for cancer treatment.

For more information on all our AACR 2023 abstracts, please visit NeoGenomics.com/newsroom/literature

We were particularly excited to host as part of one of the Spotlight Presentations, Dr. Daniel Stover from Ohio State Medical University with his presentation entitled, “Immunoprofiling of HER2+ and HER2low breast tumors using MultiOmyx multiplexed immunofluorescence,” wherein the talk highlighted the development of a novel machine-learning system to quantify single-cell HER2 immunofluorescence expression and translate this expression data into a clinically relevant HER2 scoring system. Importantly, we also built on a growing body of data implicating distinct immunophenotypes within the breast cancer TME with breast cancer outcomes by spatial profiling 1) prevalence; 2) location (e.g., intratumoral, stromal) and 3) phenotype (e.g., activated, exhausted) of infiltrating immune cells using a custom Multiomyx panel.

The exciting integration and harmonization of both tissue and liquid biopsy into translational efforts in the lab and clinic are poised to deliver the much-needed promise to patients of better treatment outcomes and overall care.

I hope everyone had a great conference, and if you missed any of our posters and talks, please feel free to click on the links provided or visit our website for more information. NeoGenomics.com.

About RaDaR® 
The RaDaR® assay is a personalized, tumor-informed, highly sensitive technology that tracks a set of up to 48 tumor-specific variants in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) within a cancer patient's blood plasma. Built on the proven InVision® platform, the personalized RaDaR assay has been designed to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) and recurrence following curative intent or definitive treatment, and early signs of relapse, and has been validated for clinical use in breast, colorectal, head and neck, as well as lung cancers. MRD is the trace amounts of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) that remain after surgery or other cancer treatment.

The RaDaR workflow leverages proprietary algorithms to both create personalized RaDaR panels for each patient and analyze results of a RaDaR test, all culminating in an exceptionally sensitive test with one of the industry's leading limit of detections (LODs) down to 0.001%.

The RaDaR assay is a laboratory developed test (LDT) which has been granted Breakthrough Device Designation by the US FDA for use in the detection of MRD in early-stage cancer patients and has received the CE mark for the detection of MRD and recurrence. RaDaR is also available for pharmaceutical, biotechnology companies and commercial entities in early through late-stage cancer development programs across a range of cancer types./


About MultiOmyx 
MultiOmyx, a proprietary multiplexed immunofluorescence (IF) technology, enables visualization and characterization of multiple biomarkers on a single FFPE tissue section. MultiOmyx protein assays utilize a pair of directly conjugated Cyanine dye-labeled (Cy3, Cy5) antibodies per round of staining. Each round of staining is imaged and followed by novel dye inactivation chemistry, enabling repeated rounds of staining and deactivation for up to 60 protein biomarkers. This unambiguous classification of diverse immune cell phenotypes and characterization of immune activation and suppression in context to tumor and stromal regions provides a comprehensive analysis of the tumor microenvironment.

About NeoGenomics, Inc. 
NeoGenomics, Inc. specializes in cancer genetics testing and information services, providing one of the most comprehensive oncology-focused testing menus in the world to help physicians diagnose and treat cancer.

NeoGenomics is committed to connecting patients with life altering therapies and trials. We believe that, together, with our partners, we can help patients with cancer today and the next person diagnosed tomorrow. In carrying out these commitments, NeoGenomics adheres to all applicable state and federal data protection laws, provides transparency and choice to patients regarding the handling and use of their data through expressed authorizations and our Notice of Privacy Practices, and has invested in leading technologies to ensure the data we maintain is secured at all times.

Headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, NeoGenomics operates CAP accredited and CLIA certified laboratories in Fort Myers and Tampa, Florida; Aliso Viejo, Carlsbad and San Diego, California; Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; and CAP accredited laboratories in Rolle, Switzerland, and Singapore. NeoGenomics serves the needs of pathologists, oncologists, academic centers, hospital systems, pharmaceutical firms, integrated service delivery networks, and managed care organizations throughout the United States, and pharmaceutical firms in Europe and Asia.

The content in the blogs herein relate to the opinions and views expressed by the individual blog author(s) and contributors and are not necessarily the viewpoints held by NeoGenomics Inc., or any of its affiliates or entities.

Contact Us To Get Started!

Work with us – your premier oncology partner – to optimize cancer care for patients