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Perspectum Launches Study of Digital Pathology, WGS to Guide Liver Cancer Treatment

NEW YORK – UK-based life sciences firm Perspectum on Friday said it has begun an observational cohort study evaluating the extent to which integrated imaging, digital pathology, and whole-genome sequencing data can guide treatment decisions for liver cancer patients.

The study, dubbed Precision-1, will enroll roughly 200 primary liver cancer patients and colorectal cancer patients with liver metastases who are eligible for surgical resection. Prior to surgery, patients will undergo Perspectum's MRI-based Hepatica imaging test to evaluate their liver tissue characteristics. Treatment consultants will review these results and determine whether patients' surgical plans should change accordingly.

Patients who continue with surgery will have tumor samples collected for whole-genome sequencing, or WGS, analysis. Perspectum has partnered with University of Oxford researchers to use Oxford's bioinformatics pipeline to analyze patients' imaging results and tumor sequencing data and inform clinical care strategies.

The study's primary aim is to measure the proportion of patients for whom WGS would change the course of treatment to something other than the standard of care. Researchers are also interested in tracking how useful imaging is in directing clinical decisions and the proportion of patients for whom WGS identifies biomarkers of drug sensitivity.

The study, which will recruit patients from Hampshire Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust in Basingstoke, UK, is slated to conclude in 2023.

"Knowing the 'wellbeing' of the liver is crucial to enable us to plan liver surgery," Myrddin Rees, a consultant hepatobiliary surgeon with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said in a statement. "Linking that to the genomic make-up of the tumors is likely to guide us to accurately predict which patients will benefit from surgery and how much liver tissue could be removed safely in each patient."