Podcast: Liquid Biopsy Developed to Detect Cancer Early Enough to be Cured

"What we do is a unique approach that is actually using enzymes...."

A conversation between Karen Jagoda of Empowered Patient Podcasts and Dr. Aharona Shuali, Vice President of Medical Affairs of Nucleix

Nucleix is developing a liquid biopsy to detect cancer. It can be a blood test or a urine test that looks at DNA, but it doesn't look at DNA as mutations. Rather, it's looking to detect changes in methylation which are small molecules that are sitting on the DNA and have shown to be much more important than mutations in the early detection of cancer.

Aharona explains, "What we do is a unique approach that is actually using enzymes. We have a very good signal-to-noise ratio. So I'll just talk a little bit about the standard. It is usually bisulfite, and bisulfite is a chemical that is very harsh. So it usually degrades, it ruins up to 90% of the DNA, and then it also introduces a lot of noise. So when you find the low amount of DNA in the blood that is coming from the tumor, if you treat it with bisulfite, you actually are going to destroy most of it. Then what is remaining is going to be very hard to tell if this is a real signal or it's actually noise."

"However, our platform is using a proprietary enzymatic-based approach, which actually does not destroy the DNA at all and has very low noise. So we believe that this approach can tell you, even with very minute amounts of DNA floating in the blood coming from the tumor, we'll be able to detect the signal from the tumor itself."

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Podcast Transcript

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