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Elphogene in World Journal of Gastroenterology!

Another great achievement for one of our projects! Prague-based biotechnological start-up Elphogene is a progressive, young company focused on monitoring of patients in advanced stages colorectal cancer. With an initial investment from i&i Prague, Elphogene was able to implement its oncoMonitor™, a liquid biopsy technology into a commercial assay for non-invasive diagnostic monitoring of patients.

The company has been founded at the beginning of 2019 as a spin-off from the Genomac Research Institute. Since then, oncoMonitor™ technology was widely mentioned in major Czech Scientific and Public media and now it´s methods and results were published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Congratulations! We believe it will introduce this idea to even more patients and doctors worldwide. The article can be found under the title: Significance of postoperative follow-up of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer using circulating tumor DNA.

As a short disclaimer; short abstract of this article mentioned: One of the most notable applications for circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) detection in peripheral blood of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) is a long-term postoperative follow-up. Sometimes referred to as a “liquid (re)biopsy” it is a minimally invasive procedure and can be performed repeatedly at relatively short intervals (months or even weeks). The presence of the disease and the actual extent of the tumor burden (tumor mass) within the patient’s body can be monitored. This is of particular importance, especially when evaluating radicality of surgical treatment as well as for early detection of disease progression or recurrence. Aim is to confirm the radicality of surgery using ctDNA and compare available methods for detection of recurrence in metastatic colorectal cancer. 

Among the monitored patients, the R0 (curative) resection correlated with postoperative ctDNA negativity in 26 out of 28 cases of surgical procedures (26/28, 93%). In the remaining cases of R0 surgeries that displayed ctDNA, both patients were diagnosed with a recurrence of the disease after 6 months. In 7 patients who underwent an R1 resection, 4 ctDNA positivities (4/7, 57%) were detected after surgery and associated with the confirmation of early disease recurrence (after 3 to 7 months). All 15 patients (15/15, 100%) undergoing R2 resection remained constantly ctDNA positive during the entire follow-up period. In 22 cases of recurrence, ctDNA positivity was detected 22 times (22/22, 100%) compared to 16 positives (16/22, 73%) by imaging methods and 15 cases (15/22, 68%) of elevated tumor markers. CONCLUSION ctDNA detection in patients with mCRC is a viable tool for early detection of disease recurrence as well as for confirmation of the radicality of surgical treatment.

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