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Biotech Support Group, Leiden University Medical Center Ink Cancer Biomarker Research Agreement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Monmouth Junction, New Jersey-based Biotech Support Group (BSG) and Netherlands-based Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) said today that they have signed a research collaboration agreement, with the goal of correlating BSG's Stroma Liquid Biopsy panel of blood-based protein biomarkers to tissue-derived tumor-stroma scoring methods developed by LUMC.

As part of the project, BSG will define and quantify the Stroma Liquid Biopsy biomarkers in LUMC-collected sera in order to correlate the LUMC-developed tumor-stroma ratio (TSR) scoring methods. The group believes that it will find helpful information integral to understanding how patients' bodies adapt to the presence of cancer, how clinicians stratify patients toward the best therapeutic options, and how patients respond to medical intervention.

LUMC's TSR acts as a prognostic parameter linking tumors with high stromal content to poor prognosis. The center will offer histological sections of primary tissue from patients with colorectal, breast, and pancreatic cancer. In addition, researchers will be able to collect patient serum and clinical data for biomarker analysis.

"The tumor-stroma microenvironment is an important prognostic parameter for patients with epithelial cancer types," LUMC associate professor Wilma Mesker said in a statement. "Blood-derived information about various tumor environmental factors could reduce under- and over-treatment of cancer patients with chemotherapy and offers unique possibilities and insight for monitoring during treatment and personalized therapy."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

BSG President and Founder Swapan Roy noted that the team aims to leverage the technologies to detect functional reporting features of "chronic systemic imbalances of proteolytic regulation," as it will help researchers understand how patients respond to different types of cancer anywhere in their body.

"While much knowledge surrounds the genomic mutations of the cancerous cells, even with the introduction of immunotherapies, we still know very little about the hospitality derived from an individual's system response to uncontrolled cellular proliferation," Roy said in a statement. "With a much better understanding of the systemic response to cancer, new avenues for diagnosis, personalized medicine, and therapeutic modalities will be possible, ultimately achieving improvement in survival."