Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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10 Clinical OMICs March/April 2017 Publisher & CEO MARY ANN LIEBERT President MARIANNE RUSSELL Group Publisher SANDE GIACCONE Editor in Chief CHRIS ANDERSON ( Managing Editor TAMLYN L. OLIVER Commercial Director BILL LEVINE Production Editor ROBERT M. REIS Senior Editor KEVIN MAYER Technical Editor JEFFREY S. BUGULISKIS, Ph.D. Senior News Editor ALEX PHILIPPIDIS Associate Editor STEVEN HERNACKI Contributing Editors MEGHAAN FERREIRA, DIANA KWON, DIANA MANOS Art Director JAMES LAMBO Online Product Manager THOMAS MATHEW Associate Director of Brand Marketing JENNIFER GATTI Online Coordinator KATHERINE VUKSANAJ Design & Layout NORA WERTZ Advertising Sales Manager–West DENIS SEGER ( Advertising Sales Manager–East LARRY MAHER ( Sales Administrator FALLON MURPHY Advertising Material WANDA SANCHEZ ( Clinical OMICs Advisory Board DANIEL H. FARKAS, Ph.D., HCLD Chief Clinical Laboratory Officer, Celmatix JEFFREY GIBBS, J.D. Director, Hyman, Phelps, and McNamara PETER HARRSCH, Ph.D. Executive Clinical/Forensic Specialist, Waters Corp. ROGER KLEIN, M.D., J.D. Medical Director, Molecular Pathology, Cleveland Clinic JASON PARK, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center STEPHEN C. PEIPER, M.D. Professor & Chair, Dept. of Pathology, Anatomy & Cell Biology, Thomas Jefferson University AMIT RASTOGI Senior Vice President, Strategy, Growth, and Innovation, Inova DAVID SMITH, Ph.D. Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic KIMBERLY STRONG, Ph.D. Director, Program in Genomics and Ethics, Medical College of Wisconsin LARRY WORDEN Vice President and Senior Partner, Market Diagnostics International The views, opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations set forth in any article in Clinical OMICs are solely those of the authors of those articles and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy, or position of Clinical OMICs, its Publisher, or its editorial staff and should not be attributed to any of them. All advertisements are subject to review by the Publisher. The acceptance of advertisements does not constitute an endorsement of the product or service advertised. Clinical OMICs (ISSN-2334-1351) is published online bimonthly by GEN Publishing, 140 Huguenot St., 3rd Floor, New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215. For subscription information go to: Copyright © 2017 by GEN Publishing, New Rochelle, NY A s someone who makes a living with words, I tend to get irritated when phrases are overused to the extent they become at best a cliché, and at worst, utterly meaningless . One that has long rankled me is the term "par- adigm shift." It has been so devalued over the years, that I have sworn a pact with myself never to use it lest I fall into the wide-eyed, gee-whiz trap countless others before me have when they want to describe a new technology in a cooler way than simply saying it is cool . But I'm breaking my pact . I believe the use of liquid biopsy as a diagnostic tool for cancer will bring a paradigm shift in characterizing tumors, tracking disease progres- sion, and monitoring treatment efficacy. Certainly, I'm not alone in this view . The Cleveland Clinic listed liquid biopsy as Number 4 on its list of the top medical innovations for 2017, citing its central place in the federal government's Cancer Moonshot Initiative and its future potential to diagnose cancer at its earliest stages via regular blood tests as part of an annual physical . And not that we should place our trust in venture capital firms as prognos- ticators of the next big thing (Hello, Blackberry) . After all, venture capitalists tend to make a lot of different bets on promising new technologies with the full knowledge that many of their bets will lose, but the winners will more than make up for them . That said, it is difficult to ignore the money pouring into liquid biopsy companies, when Illumina spin-out Grail announces it has closed its Series B financing for a cool $900 million dollars—by far the largest amount ever raised by a biotech company . On the very same day Grail was setting its record, two-plus-year-old liquid biopsy company Freenome announced it had raised "only" $65 million to further develop its technology. In other words, liquid biopsy very nearly had a $1 billion day. So what's next for liquid biopsy companies, and what needs to happen for the technology to live up to its potential? Likely a lot of validation and clinical studies . While the publication last year of Dana Farber 's successful use of liquid biopsy to accurately detect and prescribe treatments for patients with specific mutations in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer set the cancer world abuzz, it is still the only cancer with a proven role for the technology . In that regard, one could say liquid biopsy has yet to prove itself . But as more and more companies invest in clinical studies, the pace at which data accumulate showing the promise of this technology in breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma, and others will only accelerate—which suggests that its use in non-small cell lung cancer is merely the first few drops of what will soon be a liquid biopsy deluge . —Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief Liquid Biopsy Only for NSCLC? Not for Long FROM THE EDITOR Chris Anderson Editor in Chief

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