Jasmine Wong Leads UCSF Study of Novel Diagnostic Agent, AVB-620, in Breast Cancer
Exome, an online journal of biotech, healthcare, and life sciences, reports on a new clinical study in breast cancer patients led by Jasmine M. Wong, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery in the Division of General Surgery, Section of Breastcare Surgery. The clinical trial at UCSF will be evaluating, AVB-620, a diagnostic agent that helps surgeons differentiate cancerous tissue from healthy tissue in real time.
San Diego’s Avelas Biosciences says today that UC San Francisco has begun enrolling women who face breast cancer surgery in a clinical trial for AVB-620, a diagnostic agent that helps surgeons differentiate cancerous tissue from healthy tissue in real time.
The technology behind AVB-620 was developed by Roger Tsien, a UC San Diego biochemist who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his role in the discovery and development of fluorescing peptides. Tsien co-founded Avelas in 2009 with investor Kevin Kinsella, the founder of San Diego’s Avalon Ventures.
AVB-620 is a fluorescing peptide that glows (under UV light) in the presence of protease, an enzyme that breaks down proteins and peptides. Tumors and metastases produce excessive amounts of protease, so a peptide that fluoresces in a particular way in tissue with high protease activity could be used to help a surgeon tell the difference between healthy and cancerous lymph nodes.
The early stage trial is intended to evaluate the biologic agent, which is administered intravenously before surgery. The study at UC San Francisco is expected to enroll about 39 women with primary, non-recurrent breast cancer, according to a summary at the website ClinicalTrials.gov..............
“We face a delicate balancing act between removing too much tissue, which can lead to an unacceptable cosmetic outcome, and not removing enough tissue, which means subsequent surgeries will be needed,” Jasmine Wong, an assistant professor for clinical surgery and UCSF site leader for the study, said in a statement released by Avelas.