Israel Biotech Fund Co-Founder and General Partner Recognized for Contribution to Liquid Biopsy Innovation

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Bestows 2017 Team Science Award to a Renowned Team of Investigators who Pioneered the Science of Liquid Biopsy: Luis A. Diaz, Nishant Agrawazl, Chetan Bettegowda, Frank Diehl, Peter Gibbs, Stanley R. Hamilton, Ralph H. Hruban, Hartmut Juhl, Isaac Kinde, Kenneth Kinzler, Martin Nowak, Nickolas Papadopoulos, David Sidransky, Jeanne Tie, Victor E. Velculescu, Bert Vogelstein

Israel Biotech Fund is proud to announce that its Co-Founder and General Partner, Prof. David Sidransky, MD, oncologist and Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research at Johns Hopkins University has been recognized by the AACR for his participation in the development and commercialization of the field of Liquid Biopsy research.

In its announcement, the AACR commended the research team for its innovative research and scientific accomplishment likely to create great progress in the current methods used for the detection, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer. Dr. David Sidransky was the first to document the presence of tumor circulating DNA using paired serum from HN cancer patients. This work with microsatellite DNA was published in back to back papers with a group from Switzerland in 1994 in Nature medicine. Subsequently, David documented the presence of circulating DNA using tumor specific mutations in the p53 and K-ras genes in various types of cancer. Recent work has focused on the use of next generation sequencing to detect very small pre-neoplastic lung lesions for early detection of cancer.

According to the AACR award announcement, “The AACR recognizes the team for pioneering the concept of utilizing cancer mutations as biomarkers in the context of liquid biopsies. This remarkable collaborative effort, which has spanned two decades of research, has led to dramatic technological advancements in detecting cancer and defined a new field in oncology. Furthermore, these studies have contributed to the development of an FDA-approved DNA-based screening test for cancer, which is expected to revolutionize our approach to colorectal cancer screening in the next decade.”

The AACR noted that each member of the team has made a significant contribution to the research, development, and application of somatic mutations as dynamic biomarkers in liquid biopsies of solid tumor malignancies. The results of their research are likely to change patient care in coming years.

About AACR Team Science Award

The AACR Team Science Award has been established by the American Association for Cancer Research and Eli Lilly and Company to acknowledge and catalyze the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams to the understanding of cancer and/or the translation of research discoveries into clinical cancer applications.