LBx Summit 2021 review and thoughts

Yanin Naiyachit, Product Manager – Liquid Biopsy Applications here at Inivata, shares his thoughts and key take-aways from the recent LBx Summit 2021.

Over the past few years, the liquid biopsy field has evolved rapidly and become a key focal point for cancer drug developers. More and more data are supporting the clinical utility of liquid biopsy in patient stratification for targeted therapy, prognosis and also longitudinal monitoring in advanced cancers.

The Annual Liquid Biopsy for Precision Oncology (LBx) Summit is one of the most influential and significant events held by the scientific community to encourage both the development and implementation of liquid biopsy for precision oncology and collaborations between different groups working in the space. Building on the success of the past years, the event has once again united a diverse group of global biopharma, clinical and diagnostic stakeholders from the world of cancer drug development and care.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 summit was held virtually on 10-12 February and the theme of this year’s meeting was “Enabling Wider Clinical Adoption of Liquid Biopsies by Improving Sensitivity, Reproducibility & Streamlining Workflows”.

The summit examined various promising innovations, including the utilities of liquid biopsy testing across the continuum of cancer care, ranging from advanced cancer, minimal residual disease (MRD) and recurrence detection to early detection, as well as pathways for expedited clinical adoptions.

During the event, attendees were exposed to the latest technologies and emerging trends through a variety of talks and expert panel discussions, covering topics such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs), circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), exosome, miRNA and epigenomics to biomarker validation, advanced clinical trial design, market access, reimbursement and regulatory guidance.

 

Inivata’s Presentation

Although the pandemic prevented us from travelling to sunny California for the event, going digital didn’t deter us! Inivata, alongside our partner NeoGenomics, were amongst the key contributors in the conference.

This year, Tim Forshew, PhD (Co-founder and Head of Science and Innovation) and Stefan Scherer MD, PhD (Medical Advisor) represented Team Inivata at LBx. They had the opportunity to describe our significant progress with the development of RaDaR™, our ultra-sensitive, personalized, tumor-informed assay for the detection of MRD and recurrence monitoring. Furthermore, they both provided valuable insights into how biopharma, as well as clinicians, can benefit from a sensitive MRD assay to fulfil unmet medical need thus improving standard of care.

Our team presented on the second day, during which Stefan Scherer started the presentation by explaining the unmet needs in the space and how the utilities of ctDNA-based liquid biopsy could help. He examined how the technology can be applied in different clinical settings for both early-stage and advance disease.

He then emphasized why having an extremely sensitive assay is critical for the detection of low ctDNA level after a definitive treatment such as surgical resection. If biopharma companies utilized this technology, it could potentially help them selectively identify patient sub-groups with a high risk of relapse, allowing tailored treatment plans to be created that include adjuvant treatment of new agents, biologics or immunotherapy.

Following this, Tim Forshew described how we at Inivata developed the personalized sequencing assays that enable the detection extremely low levels of ctDNA in plasma. Finally, Tim highlighted the real-world clinical data from our LUng cancer – CIrculating tumor DNA (LUCID) study (NCT04153526) carried out in collaboration with Cancer Research UK and University of Cambridge. Our provisional data was extremely encouraging, in some cases detecting ctDNA in patients up to 12 months prior to any clinical progression being spotted. 

Overall, the LBx summit was a well-organized and informative conference, comprising many high quality, interesting presentations. It was very inspiring to have the chance to meet and discuss with others in the oncology community striving to transform the lives of cancer patients using liquid biopsy.

Reference: 

  1. Garcia-Murillas I, Schiavon G, Weigelt B, Ng C, Hrebien S, Cutts RJ, et al. Mutation tracking in circulating tumor DNA predicts relapse in early breast cancer. Sci Transl Med 7(302), 302ra133 (2015). (https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aab0021)
  2. Cescon DW, Bratman SV, Chan SM & Siu LL. Circulating tumor DNA and liquid biopsy in oncology.Nat Cancer 1, 276–290 (2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43018-020-0043-5 
  3. Forshew T, Murtaza M, Parkinson C, Gale D, Tsui DWY, Kaper F, et al. Noninvasive identification and monitoring of cancer mutations by targeted deep sequencing of plasma DNA. Sci Transl Med4(136), 136ra68 (2012). DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003726
  4. Dasari, A. et al. (2020) ‘ctDNA applications and integration in colorectal cancer: an NCI Colon and Rectal–Anal Task Forces whitepaper’, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, pp. 1–14. doi: 10.1038/s41571-020-0392-0.
  5. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04153526
  6. Marcio, G et al. (2020) Analytical development of the RaDaR™ assay, a highly sensitive and specific assay for the monitoring of minimal residual disease, AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II 2020

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