PMLS 2018

CureMatch Co-Founders Study the Molecular Alterations of Genes to Develop Personalized Cancer Therapy Options

CureMatch Co-Founders Igor Tsigelny, Ph.D. and Razelle Kurzrock, M.D. along with colleagues from the San Diego Supercomputer Center and UCSD Moores Cancer Center have published a study in the journal, Cancer Biology & Therapy, highlighting the role of a specific molecular mutation in eosinophilic cystitis, a rare inflammatory bladder condition associated with painful and bloody urination. [1]

This study is significant because treatment of eosinophilic cystitis can be challenging, and the root cause is not known. The authors suggest that there is an association between a specific BRAF oncogene mutation and the disease. Liquid biopsy techniques, which applied genomic sequencing of circulating DNA isolated from a small vial of blood, detected a BRAF I463T mutation. It is important to note that liquid biopsies can identify these potentially important genomic alterations in patients for whom traditional biopsies may be difficult in terms of risk or cost.

The identification of this specific mutation can refine treatment in some cases. The growing field of genomics drives precision medicine for oncology patients, and researchers such as Tsigelny and Kurzrock are providing breakthroughs in this field. Genetic markers of cancer provide some of the best indicators to recommend personalized treatments and improve survival rates.

As pointed out by Dr. Tsigelny, “It was a challenge to elucidate the functional effect of the I463T mutation in the BRAF protein. Only sophisticated modeling by the computer and molecular dynamics simulation established that this mutation is likely to cause abnormally high activity of the BRAF protein.”

However, genetic information can only be translated into advanced treatment decisions when analyzed in conjunction with massive clinical and pharmacological knowledge databases, and CureMatch is a digital health company which does just that. CureMatch offers oncologists actionable intelligence by scoring millions of potential combinations of cancer drugs for each individual patient. Extensively analyzing cancer treatment options via proprietary algorithms and evidence-based, custom-curated databases of genomics and proteomics information, CureMatch generates reports for oncologists ranking the best Personalized Combination Therapy® options for each patient.

Physicians are able to uncover potential therapeutic options that target specific genetic alterations via data-driven reports generated by CureMatch’s Decision Support System. Ultimately, oncologists review CureMatch Reports to recommend patient treatment plans based on the most current targeted treatments available. By matching treatments at the molecular level, doctors are able to target the unique nature of each individual patient’s tumors, and improved outcomes are the result.

“CureMatch helps oncologists make more informed decisions. Our platform was founded by prominent physicians and researchers who, for years, have been studying and applying genomic insights to personalize cancer treatment with great success,” stated Stephane Richard Ph.D., CureMatch President and COO.

The study “BRAF Mutation as a Novel Driver of Eosinophilic Cystitis” was published in Cancer Biology & Therapy Journal by CureMatch co-founders Igor F. Tsigelny, Ph.D. and Razelle Kurzrock. M.D., who also have faculty appointments at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Co-authors of the article are Michael Y Choi, Amelie Boichard, Åge A. Skjevik, and Ahmed Shabaik.