The diagnostic implications of microbiome markers in tissue and liquid biopsies are endless, and Micronoma is the first company developing a platform using these markers in blood to detect early-stage cancer.
Our patent-pending Oncobiota™ platform is designed to reveal cancer-related microbiome signatures [or biomarkers] with high specificity and sensitivity.*
Our minimally invasive and high-precision microbiome-driven liquid biopsy™ method is designed to help detect cancer even in its earliest stages. Micronoma’s patent-pending method, analyzing a multitude of circulating microbial markers linked to the tumor tissue as well as the host response to the cancer, has the potential to provide an advantage in early-stage cancer detection.
We are developing Oncobiota™ so it can be applied to many cancer types. Starting with lung cancer, which has a need for early detection and with one of the highest incidences and mortality rates, we can make a big difference in the lives of the many patients affected each year. In addition, the current standard of care for lung cancer detection (low dose CT scan) is plagued with a high rate of false positives (94.5%), leading to unnecessary lung tissue biopsies.* With a lower rate of false positives, we believe the Micronoma platform has the opportunity to significantly reduce the risk and cost of lung cancer diagnosis.
*Mazzone P. (2012). The rationale for, and design of, a lung cancer screening program. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine, 79(5), 337–345. https://doi.org/10.3949/ccjm.79a.12018
Potential Advantages Over Traditional Liquid Biopsy
- A traditional liquid biopsy usually refers to a test done on a sample of blood to look for one or more genetic biomarker(s) associated with a cancer, such as methylation or fragmentation profile of genetic materials isolated from circulating tumor cells (CTC) and/or cell-free DNA that is shed from the tumor.
- However, these types of genetic biomarkers are more easily detected for large tumors, which makes such methods less efficient for detecting cancer at its earliest stages.*
- At Micronoma, we focus on the circulating microbial nucleic acid signatures, or microbiome biomarkers, that are associated with the tumor and the body’s response to the developing tumor. Importantly, and based on published data, these microbial signals do not seem to be dependent on tumor size, potentially enabling our proprietary platform to detect cancer at an earlier stage of cancer development.
*Avanzini, S. et.al. (2020). A mathematical model of ctDNA shedding predicts tumor detection size. Science advances, 6(50), eabc4308. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc4308