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Rarecells, Columbia University to Study Liquid Biopsy Test for Early Detection of AML

NEW YORK – Rarecells on Tuesday said it has partnered with Columbia University to study its ISET-AML test for early detection of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

The investigator-sponsored study is expected to begin early next year and will be funded by Rarecells. The ISET-AML test is a liquid biopsy test that extracts circulating tumor cells and identifies them using immune-morpho molecular analyses combined with image analyses and artificial intelligence.

Around a third of MDS cases progress into AML. The study is the first clinical evaluation of the ISET, or Isolation by SizE of Tumor Cells, test for the early detection of AML. Previous research has shown that the ISET technology is able to identify a single cancer cell in 10ml of blood.

Researchers hope the ISET-AML test will be able to detect cancer in earlier stages than traditional testing methods for MDS patients. Typically, MDS is monitored using blood tests that measure complete blood cell counts and bone marrow analyses of leukemic blasts.

"New non-invasive tests are needed to detect the first leukemic cells in the blood of MDS patients so that we can identify and treat patients at risk of developing AML before the disease becomes established," Azra Raza, professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and principal investigator of the study, said in a statement.

Rarecells, based in Paris, is also exploring the ability of its ISET technology to detect other cancers including prostate and pancreatic cancer.