Yun Wu, Ph.D., Technology Impact Award RecipientState University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo

With the support from this CRI grant, we aim to advance the Exo-PROS assay, improve clinical success of immunotherapy, and broadly benefit cancer patients who consider immunotherapy.
Area of Research: All Cancers

Checkpoint immunotherapies targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway—especially when combined with chemotherapy—have improved how we treat advanced lung cancer, especially non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most common form. However, most patients still don’t respond, and being able to quickly detect this enables other treatment options to be considered without missing the best treatment window.

Currently, physical tumor samples—biopsies—are used for analysis, but obtaining them can be invasive and cannot be done frequently for monitoring over time. To address this issue, Dr. Wu is developing a cutting-edge liquid biopsy test named Exo-PROS, which uses a small chip-like device and allows the quantification of circulating biomarkers in blood to screen patients for immunotherapy and monitor treatment responses. Already, Wu’s team has observed promising results and found that circulating biomarkers successfully distinguished immunotherapy responders from non-responders. Now they plan to further validate Exo-PROS assay in larger numbers of patients and demonstrate its clinical utility in precision cancer immunotherapy.

Projects and Grants

Exosome Protein microRNA One Stop (Exo-PROS) Biosensor: a New Liquid Biopsy for Precision Cancer Immunotherapy

State University of New York, Buffalo | All Cancers | 2020

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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.