PERSONALIZED CYTOMETRIC CANCER PROFILING SERVICES
One way to achieve major improvements in cancer chemotherapy is to discover new drugs and indeed many are on the horizon. However, this doesn’t help the cancer patient who needs treatment now. Fortunately, many good chemotherapy drugs already exist. Therefore, the best way to improve chemotherapy TODAY is to use the existing drugs more effectively. That is where Personalized Cytometric Cancer Profiling comes in. Dr. Weisenthal and the Weisenthal Cancer Group are dedicated to matching each patient with the treatment that offers the best chance for success based upon demonstrated activity in the laboratory against each patient’s actual LIVING cancer cells.
We provide several sevices.
The Comprehensive Weisenthal Cancer Group Profile
This includes the CytoRx™ profile for standard chemotherapy drugs, the EGFRx™ Profile for the new, targeted tyrosine kinase inhibiting drugs, and the AngioRx™ profile for anti-angiogenesis drugs. The use of all three, complementary profiles allows for testing of each agent by itself and also as rational drug combinations in which both standard and targeted drugs are combined in order to assess synergistic drug effects, if present.
Most chemotherapy today involves administering standard and targeted drugs in combination. Clinical trials of various drug combinations currently are constantly ongoing. Typically these trials take years to complete, which does not help the cancer patient who needs treatment today. Just as bad, these trials typically are designed to identify the best combinations of drugs for the “average” cancer patient. Why is that bad? It is because no cancer patient is "average." Nearly every cancer physician agrees that personalized treatment is modern paradigm. Personalized Cytometric Profiling, as we perform it at Weisenthal Cancer Group, allows each patient to receive the most appropriate standard and targeted drug combination, proven active specifically against his or her own tumor cells, even while many beneficial drug combinations are still awaiting trial and error discovery in the clinic.
Available with the Comprehensive Profile is a written interpretation in which Dr. Weisenthal integrates results from both the CytoRx™ profile and the EGFRx™ profile and suggests rational treatment strategies based upon profiling results and published drug activity and toxicity data.
CytoRx™ Profile for Standard Chemotherapy Agents
The standard, cytotoxic drug profile consists of the CytoRx™ test in which 20 – 30 standard anti-cancer drugs are tested. In addition to testing all drugs as single agents, some drugs will be tested in combination if complementary mechanisms of action, lack of cross resistance, and acceptable levels of cross toxicity suggest that drug synergy is possible.
EGFRx™, Targeted Therapy Profile
The targeted therapy profile includes analysis of the following targeted drugs: erlotinib (Tarceva), gefitinib (Iressa®), sorafenib (Nexavar®), sunitinib (Sutent®), and, in some cases, lapatinib (Tykerb®). For certain types of cancer, a drug called imatinib (Gleevec®), which works in a very different way, may be tested.
AngioRx™, Anti-Angiogenesis MVV Assay Profile.
This patented profile is available only from Dr. Weisenthal, who originated and developed it.
Research has shown that controlling production of new blood vessels can restrict tumor growth. Perhaps the most widely-used anti-angiogenic agent to emerge to date is a drug called bevacizumab (Avastin®, Genentech) however many other anti-vascular drugs are also in widespread use. Bevacizumab was approved by the FDA for use in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. However, bevacizumab has also shown activity in many other solid tumor types such as breast, lung, and ovarian cancers. As with most targeted-therapy drugs, bevacizumab does not necessarily benefit every patient and it is expensive. Further, no test previously has existed that shows reliably who will benefit from it.
Dr. Weisenthal developed an assay for microvascular viability (MVV - we also call it the AngioRx™ assay.) to identify potential responders to bevacizumab, sorafenib, sunitinib, and other anti-angiogenic drugs and to assess previously unanticipated direct and potentiating anti-angiogenic effects of targeted therapy drugs such as erlotinib and gefitinib. Click here to view Dr. Weisenthal’s article, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine reporting development of the assay. Prior to development of the AngioRx™ assay it was thought that the lack of an intact tumor micro-vasculature would prevent in vitro drug studies in disaggregated tissues. However, Dr. Weisenthal noted that endothelial cells are present in tumor micro-clusters and he showed that drug effect upon these cells can be assessed in a laboratory test he developed. Subsequently, United States and foreign patents were awarded to Dr. Weisenthal. These cover a range of sample preparation, assay targeting, drug exposure, sample analysis, and scoring methods. The AngioRx™ assay is performed when it is deemed appropriate as an addition to the CytoRx standard chemotherapy drug assay and the EGFRx™ tyrosine kinase targeted assay.