An accurate, noninvasive test to diagnose brain tumors and to monitor disease progression and/or response to therapy is currently unavailable. This represents a critical unmet medical need. The most frequently occurring brain malignancies in adults are metastatic brain cancers (e.g. from lung, breast, others) followed by glioblastoma (GBM), which is the most aggressive primary brain cancer. Our goal is to identify and bring to the clinic important new diagnostic biomarkers, with a special emphasis for those occurring in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as an opportunistic source of diagnostic information.
CSF biomarkers will serve as a unique window to the brain and provide valuable information normally unavailable due to inaccessibility of brain tissue for routine diagnostic purposes. Clinical application of these CSF-biomarker profiles will allow better disease monitoring and management (e.g. assessment of recurrence and remissions, response to therapy including chemo- and radiation therapy efficacy) which can help determine the most effective strategy for treatment. We are initially developing highly specific microRNA biomarkers in CSF for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic monitoring in brain cancer. Further, we will identify novel potential biomarker candidates using all relevant technologies, (genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic). Following clinical validation, we will commercialize an innovative biomarker panel that will form the new paradigm for more effective diagnosis and prognosis of brain cancers. In addition, biomarker diagnostics will be opportunistic for other neurological disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative disorders.