Immunis.AI Presents Discovery of signals for cancer origin

Findings support proprietary method to leverage immune response for early detection

Immunis.AI, Inc., an immunogenomics platform company developing noninvasive blood-based tests to optimize patient care, today announced it has presented key findings in a poster presentation at the International Conference on Clinical and Single Cell Analysis held in Lisbon, Portugal. The presentation reported on the discovery of signals of prostate (cancer) origin within circulating monocytes and supports the company’s proprietary immunogenomic approach to early detection and grading of cancer and other diseases.

The goal of this study was to uncover changes in the phagocytic activity and evidence of phagocytosed RNA from cancer cells in circulating monocytes of prostate cancer patients. Solid tumors shed millions of cells per day per gram of tumor, however patients do not present with millions of circulating tumor cells. The innate immune system reacts to foreign insult in several unique ways, including phagocytosis. Circulating tumor cells, and those undergoing apoptosis, are cleared by the mononuclear phagocyte system.

In the study, signals from cells of prostate (cancer) origin within circulating monocytes were enriched in blood drawn from men with prostate cancer (cases) relative to samples from men that were recently treated by radical prostatectomy, men with benign prostate biopsy or young healthy men (the latter three serving as controls). Circulating monocytes were isolated and purified using CD14+ immunomagnetic beads (Miltenyi Biotec, Inc) and processed by single cell RNA sequencing using the 10X Genomics protocol followed by paired-end sequencing on an Illumina NovaSeq instrument.

“Evidence of disease signal in circulating monocytes and changes in phagocytic activity underpin one of the cornerstones of our proprietary Intelligentia™ platform,“ reported Dr. Leander Van Neste, Chief Scientific Officer of Immunis.AI. “These results hold the promise for exciting new insights into the immune response in cancer patients and can help identify important upregulated or downregulated genes associated with the presence and aggressiveness of a particular disease, further supporting model development.”

“The innate immune system is on the front line of defense against disease and can serve as an important early warning mechanism for detection,” commented Dr. Kirk Wojno, Chief Medical Officer of Immunis.AI. “Comparing the differential gene expression patterns of purified immune cell populations, using the patient as their own control to normalize and enhance the signal of the underlying pathology, can help us provide individualized diagnostic, prognostic, therapeutic response and disease monitoring assessment.”

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