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Cancer relapse detection and cancer treatment monitoring

Organization name

ascenion GmbH



DNA-fragments become released into the circulation also by tumor cells and can be isolated from blood samples. The tumor origin of circulating cell free DNA (ccfDNA) has been proven by analysis of tumor specific genetic markers (i.e. mutation, translocation etc.). In addition epigenetic markers and the fragmentation pattern of the circulating DNA indicate for the presence and progression of tumor disease.


ccfDNA derived from blood samples of cancer patients differs in the pattern of fragment length as compared to control donors. The pattern of DNA fragments is analyzed by real-time PCR using a reference gene present in extreme high copy numbers in the human genome (i.e. LINE1, more than 100,000 copies) and a DNA-fragmentation index is computed. The DNA fragmentation index in cancer patients differs significantly from control patients (figure 1) and allows robust tumor detection and surrogate monitoring of cancer patients.

Commercial Opportunity

The invention provides a generic blood based assay using a Biomarker that enables early detection of cancer relapse and enables drug response monitoring.
The technology is offered for licensing and research collaboration.

Development Status

Proof of principle data were performed for the detection of metastatic Breast Cancer (mBC), metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) and primary Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) by using bio-banked serum samples. The DNA-fragmentation index in mBC and mCRC suggest potential for early relapse detection and therapy response monitoring.

Patent Situation

WO2010112316A1 pending
Search report of European Patent agency
Submission of national phases in progress

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