Precision oncology company Guardant Health and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) announced a collaboration on Tuesday to study the connection of cancer biomarkers and treatment response to immunotherapy spanning more than 14 different types of cancer.
The collaboration will fall under PICI’s RADIOHEAD (Resistance Drivers for Immuno-Oncology Patients Interrogated by Harmonized Molecular Datasets) prospective study of 1,200 patients who are receiving first-line, standard-of-care immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatments in community hospitals. For the study, Guardant will analyze patient blood samples employing its GuardantINFINITY, a liquid biopsy that provides a combined genomic and epigenomic view of a person’s cancer. The test will be administered multiple times during a patient’s ICI treatments to better understand the connection between the presence of biomarkers and patient outcomes. It will also include data collection on adverse events.
“By breaking down barriers and forging deep collaboration, PICI can accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies and turn all cancers into curable diseases,” said Tarak Mody, PhD, chief business officer at PICI. “This mission-focused collaboration with Guardant Health aims to identify the molecular drivers of treatment response in clinical practice, provide significant learnings in PD1 resistance mechanisms, and serve as a valuable resource to the PICI research network for biomarker discovery, target validation, and clinical trial design.”
The RADIOHEAD study is a pan-tumor study that seeks to identify the drivers or clinical response and adverse events. The study provides a comprehensive profile of each patient by collecting and analyzing blood samples before treatment, along with clinical features, with serial testing conducted early in the treatment and at late treatment timepoints. The patients in the program are from 52 community-based oncology clinics throughout the U.S.
For Guardant, its participation is notable as it is the first time it has participated in a real-world immune-oncology study and provides the company with an expanded outcomes dataset and deeper information about biomarkers related to cancer type and stage.
“The collaborative study with PICI is an excellent opportunity for us to explore the value of genomic and epigenomic tumor profiling in real-world immuno-oncology therapy settings,” said Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant Health chairman and co-chief CEO. “The study will generate deeper insights about the tumor microenvironment and its response to therapy, which will enable us to respond to cancer evolution faster and, eventually, modify immunotherapy treatment paradigms for better patient outcomes.”
According to PICI and Guardant, they expect to begin publishing data from RADIOHEAD later this year.
PICI, founded in 2016, is a San Francisco-based non-profit that seeks to foster collaboration across leading immunotherapy researchers and cancer centers. The PICI Network is a comprises prestigious institutions and includes Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Stanford Medicine, UCLA, UCSF, and the University of Pennsylvania. It also supports via grants, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, City of Hope, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the Institute of Systems Biology among others. To date, it has supported more than 340 research projects with 80 collaborators, with collaborations with multiple stakeholders including academia, cancer centers, and for-profit biopharma and diagnostics companies.