Mission

Barron Biomedical is a research and service enterprise in the field of Personalized Cancer Medicine, also called Precision Oncology. We sequence and analyze genes from solid tumors and hematologic malignancies to assist pathologists and oncologists in two tasks: in the determination of a precise Molecular Diagnosis and in the Selection of Drugs with the highest probability of response for the individual patient.

Our procedure begins with the isolation of DNA and/or RNA from a cancer specimen sent by the contact physician. This is followed by sequencing of selected genes by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), the processing of sequencing data by bioinformatics and the identification of gene variants. At this point, the procedure follows one of two paths:

  1. Molecular Diagnosis: For this purpose we carry out the variant interpretation and eventually additional tests (IHC, FISH, MSI, etc.) in collaboration with partner pathologists. The results are presented in a molecular pathology report, which considers the clinicopathological data.
  2. Selection of Drugs: For this purpose we carry out the variant interpretation, which is our core competence, by analyzing the information on each variant that we obtain from biomedical databases, databases of regulatory agencies and scientific literature. The report describes each variant, the drug target it affects, and the appropiate drugs and clinical trials for patients carrying the variant. Our “Comprehensive Analysis”, which uses a large NGS gene panel and can identify numerous variants, determines the state of many targets and their associated molecular mechanisms. This makes it possible to find among the altered targets and mechanisms those in which targeted therapy would most effectively combat cancer cells, i.e. the drugs with the highest likelihood of response (see section "Selection of Drugs").

Our service comprises the whole procedure or can be limited to the variant interpretation of sequencing data provided by the contact physician.

Target Discovery and Biomarker Research:  We have developed a method for the acquisition of high-quality tumor samples, which increases the reproducibility and sensitivity of molecular tests, including NGS data. We offer this expertise to partners engaged in the search of high-quality targets for new anticancer drugs as well as high-quality biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, therapy response and monitoring (see section "Research").

 

  • Targets

    Drug Targets

    A target is a molecule with several properties:

    1. It is present in tumor cells in an abnormal quantity compared to its quantity in normal healthy cells.
    2. It plays a key role in growth and spread of cancer cells.
    3. Its inhibition reverts the pathological phenotype, e.g. uncontrolled proliferation or inhibited apoptosis (cell death).

    Molecules with these properties are mostly members of signal pathways for proliferation, for apoptosis, etc. They can be targets for drugs, which stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. These drugs are referred to as "targeted therapies".

    1. Adapted from: Dancey, JE et al. (2012) The genetic basis for cancer treatment decisions. Cell 148: 409-420.
  • Biomarker

    Biomarkers

    A biomarker is a measurable biological feature that acts as an indicator for a physiological, pathological or pharmacological process in the body2.

    Processes taking place in the body are driven and accompanied by changes in DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites of the involved cells and tissues. For this reason, these molecular features can be employed as biomarkers for the aforementioned processes and therefore can convey medical predictions. For example Biomarkers for assessment of individual disease risk, for early diagnosis, for prognosis, for response to therapy, for adverse drug reactions or for therapy monitoring.

    1. Adapted from: Biomarkers Definitions Working Group Bethesda, Md (2001) Biomarkers and surrogate endpoints: Preferred definitions and conceptual framework. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 69:89-95.