How Promising Biomarkers Can Be Identified

M2GEN Improves Cancer Outcomes by Facilitating the Identification of Promising New Biomarkers

Biological markers define cancer on a precise molecular level. Produced by tumor cells as well as healthy cells in response to a malignancy, cancer biomarkers can include specific proteins, hormones, genetic mutations, genetic rearrangements, extra copies of genes, and missing genes, which can be detected in tumors, blood, urine, stool, and other bodily tissues and fluids. Significantly, biomarkers have quantifiable characteristics that can be objectively measured and evaluated in noninvasive studies. As such, these unique indicators provide researchers with vital insights about various biological processes, both normal and abnormal, and thus hold the key to expanding the cancer knowledge base.

By creating a distinctive signature for each patient’s cancer, biomarkers serve an important role in both oncology research and clinical practice. In addition to assessing cancer risk, this valuable information assists scientists and physicians in understanding and predicting not only the growth pattern of a particular tumor but also its response to a proposed treatment strategy. Thus, the discovery of promising new biomarkers is essential to the evolution of precision cancer medicine.

Biomarkers Provide Researchers With Definitive Focal Points

Cancer is a moving target. Driven by random mutations that are not all well understood, healthy cells are able to break free from the orchestrated developmental patterns of functional tissue and enter a phase of abnormal growth that eventually may lead to metastasis. There is still much to be learned about this unwelcome and multifaceted process, and researchers from various disciplines must work together to solve this complex riddle. To do so, they must first identify the exact mutations that give rise to the ever-increasing variety of tumor cells, then focus on the elusive forces that allow those cells to proliferate. In essence, each newly identified tumor biomarker provides a target for scientists and clinicians to pursue in the fight against cancer.

Potential biological markers can be detected in several ways. Traditionally, the most common approach was to identify candidate biomarkers based on the biology of a tumor and its environment, or the metabolism of a pharmaceutical agent. Following the explosive growth of cancer knowledge and the advent of groundbreaking new technologies, biomarkers can now be identified through a discovery approach that utilizes innovative techniques such as high-throughput sequencing, gene expression arrays, and mass spectroscopy. While effective, however, these techniques generate vast amounts of data, the implications of which must be taken into account when designing a study and analyzing the results. For instance, as the size of a dataset increases, the risk of drawing flawed inferences and identifying erroneous associations—such as how the presence of a specific biomarker influences the response of the cancer to a certain therapy—increases along with it. To minimize this risk, large raw datasets must first be analyzed, processed, structured, and refined so that researchers can derive meaningful information from it. That is the specialty of M2GEN, an oncology-focused health informatics company.

M2GEN Is Paving the Way for Our Research Partners to Discover New Cancer Biomarkers

Established with the goal to improve cancer outcomes, M2GEN’s Oncology Research Information Exchange Network® (ORIEN®) AVATAR Program is a first-in-kind collaboration that brings together patients, physicians, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the discovery and development of cancer therapies. Specifically, the AVATAR program facilitates the collection and study of biospecimens and companion clinical data from consenting patients throughout their lifetime.

Through the construction of comprehensive genotypic, transcriptomic, and phenotypic cohorts, M2GEN generates in silico avatars, then utilizes that information to power cancer research, clinical trial matching, and the development of real-world data comparator cohorts. The breadth and scope of the longitudinal clinical and molecular data accessible through AVATAR are unprecedented, enabling the discovery of a wide array of new DNA and RNA biomarkers.

Newly Revealed Cancer Biomarkers Are Guiding the Development of Groundbreaking Immunotherapies

M2GEN Is Transforming Precision Oncology

By helping our research partners identify promising new cancer biomarkers, M2GEN is tackling the greatest challenges in drug development with the goal of accelerating the advancement of precision therapies and ultimately, impacting patient outcomes.

Contact M2GEN today to discover how you can expedite your oncology drug development processes by participating in the AVATAR Program. In addition to receiving direct access to this extensive cancer database, your research teams will benefit from updated releases of new patient data, follow-up data on existing patients, and analytical outcomes from M2GEN’s bioinformatics, biostatistics, and clinical data teams.