Early-stage cancer is notoriously difficult to find.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Using nanoparticles that are extraordinarily abundant in blood and carry information about their parent cell – known as extracellular vesicles, or EVs – we have developed an approach that is showing tremendous promise in detecting early-stage cancer, when it is most treatable.
Our initial focus is on early detection of difficult-to-treat cancers, such as ovarian and lung, which today are often found too late to save lives.
“Despite billions of dollars invested into companies pursuing various cfDNA-focused approaches, early stage detection of cancer and pre-cancer at clinically meaningful sensitivities remains elusive.
This is most likely because DNA in blood is an exceedingly poor marker for early detection. There just isn’t enough DNA that is reliably shed into the circulation from tumors which are not well vascularized.
Enter exosomes. Cancer cells shed exosomes with their cancer specific surface markers at far greater abundance than they shed limited quantities of DNA. Mercy’s novel approach enhances the specificity of cancer exosome detection by co-localization.”