Two Pore Guys (2PG), a US-based developer of single-molecule sensing technologies, has revealed that it will collaborate with oncologists from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to assess its handheld nanopore-based platform to detect cell-free, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from patient liquid biopsies.

The study will be conducted by Andrew Ko from Department of Medicine (Hematology / Oncology), UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

He will be focusing on detecting the KRAS G12D mutation among ctDNAs obtained from patient blood and urine samples.

"We have high hopes for liquid biopsy as an important tool in the future of cancer treatment."

If the study is successful, then the new device could be used for monitor patients for the recurrence of cancer from home on a daily basis.

Dr Ko said: “Cancer recurrence is a constant battle, and treatment is a race against time.

"The sooner we can detect a recurrence, the sooner we can change or augment a patient’s therapy and improve his or her chances of survival.

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“We have high hopes for liquid biopsy as an important tool in the future of cancer treatment.

"The ability to accurately monitor mutations using a simple and inexpensive device could improve the quality of care we can provide while significantly reducing healthcare costs, for example, by more quickly moving patients off expensive drugs that are no longer effective.”

Liquid biopsy tool is more commonly used to assist in treatment decision making in metastatic lung cancer.

It also facilitates the diagnosis and potentially the monitoring of other cancers with less testing of tumor DNA using an easily attainable biological sample, such as blood or urine.

2PG’s handheld platform features a battery-operated reader device and disposable test strips containing reagents and solid-state nanopore chips that detect individual molecules, one by one.

‎Two Pore Guys CEO Dan Heller said: “2PG’s platform is ideal for applications like liquid biopsy, because it is portable, simple and inexpensive enough to be used by anyone, anywhere.”

For this collaboration, 2PG will focus on ctDNA from the patient samples using existing extraction kits, though the company is developing an integrated solution.