FMDx – to be used in clinic.

More than 100 anti-cancer drugs are used in the clinic today, and new drugs are under development for use tomorrow. The challenge is to match a patient with the right drugs. The clinicians face this challenge with practically every patient, because of the limitations of diagnostics. Information obtained with current diagnostics is still far from predicting securely how the tumor and patient would respond to a treatment. The recent developments of cancer research have opened for the qualitative improvement of diagnostics.

Here is described Functional Molecular Diagnostics (FMDx). FMDx tests responsiveness of individual patient’s tumors to different drugs by testing responsiveness of the living tumor samples in organ culture (Organ Culture FMDx), testing targets and modulators of the drugs’ action (Functional Biochemical Assays), and by unbiased testing of the tumor’s proteome profile (Proteomics FMDx).

FMDx is a set of assays performed on living and processed tumor cells following removal from patients upon surgery or biopsy. These assays measure in a real time how the patients’ tumor may respond to different drugs before the patient is offered treatment, and whether the tumor is of an aggressive type. The successfulness of FMDx is based on novel proprietary technologies. FMDx assays are of 3 types – organ culture-based, functional biochemical assays and proteomics-based. The assays may be used all together or separately, depending on the clinical requirements. All 3 types of assays analyze a tumor with different methods, but for the common goal of finding the best treatment. This increases the confidence of the recommendations for treatment.

Organ culture FMDx answers the question “Which drug and treatment is the most efficient in killing the tumor?” Tests are performed with samples of tumors obtained upon surgery or collection of biopsy. Cells in the samples are alive and preserve their natural environment of the tumor.

Variation of the organ culture FMDx are tests with Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs). CTCs are obtained from the blood of patients, and the tests are to evaluate sensitivity of CTCs to anti-cancer drugs and to monitor the disease.

Functional biochemical assays answer the question “Which molecular mechanisms are corrupted in the tumor?” Tests target selected molecular mechanisms.

Proteomics FMDx answers the similar question as the Organ Culture FMDx, but with processed tumor biopsies. Proteomics FMDx is unbiased screening for drugs which would be most efficient for treatment of the tumor. Proteomics FMDx may be performed before chemotherapy and adjuvant treatment, or/and after pre-operative treatments, according to decision of the clinician.

Description of FMDx in details may be found here as a PDF file: FMDx_description . Note that the presented description of FMDx is to show possibilities only, and is not a commercial endorsement or announcement.

      Serhiy Souchelnytskyi   

PhD, Professor, Cancer Proteomics and Systems Biology for Personalized Medicine