Molecular Signatures of Invasive Cancer Subpopulations

Case ID:
Disclosure Date:

C11851: Assay and molecular signature to identify invasive cancer cell population in tumors


This invention is an assay for evaluating the metastatic potential of epithelial cancers, and a molecular signature linked to aggressive and invasive cancer subpopulations.

Value Proposition:

Inventors have developed an assay to enable stratification of cancer cells based on their invasive behavior. Inventors have also identified a molecular signature of a cancer cell subpopulation that is highly invasive and resistant to therapy. This signature has been confirmed in more than 3 mouse mammary carcinoma models. This technology enables:

- Efficient live culture of primary tumor tissue with retention of the varied epithelial cell types.
- Prospective identification of the most invasive epithelial cell populations without requiring prior knowledge of the cells' molecular characteristics.
- Ready recovery of the most invasive cell populations for molecular characterization.
- Collection of thousands of epithelial fragments per tumor and so can work in parallel to identify the invasive subpopulations, determine their relative abundance, and test their sensitivity to different chemotherapies.
- Assay has been optimized for multi-well plate format.

Technical Details:

The live cell assay provides an ability to estimate the likelihood of distant metastases as well as predict the molecular characteristics of the most invasive and aggressive cells. The identity of this population of cells can be used to estimate the risk of cancer recurrence or to personalize the course of treatment for the patient. The specific molecular signature identified by the inventors can be used to identify invasive subpopulations in tissue sections from archival human tumors. This signature could be used to estimate the risk of local recurrence of cancer or distant metastases.

Looking for Partners:

To develop and commercialize the technology as cancer diagnostic.

Stage of Development:


Data Availability:

Mouse model data of human breast cancer lines.

Publications/Associated Cases:

Cell. 2013 Dec 19;155(7):1639-51.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Molecular Signatures of Invasive Cancer Subpopulations ORD: Ordinary Utility United States 14/276,099 10,545,133 5/13/2014 1/28/2020 1/5/2036 Granted
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For Information, Contact:
Jeanine Pennington
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