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New molecular analyses to be presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2022

DURHAM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– GeneCentric Therapeutics, a company making precision medicine more precise through RNA-based diagnostics, announced today the upcoming oral presentation of the discovery and initial clinical utility of a novel signature that identifies patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) that may benefit from treatment beyond typical surgical resection. The presentation will be made at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, one of the world’s largest and long-standing scientific gatherings in the field of cancer research, which is being held in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 8-13, 2022. The results to be presented are from an ongoing collaboration with Jose P. Zevallos, MD, MPH, at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Center for Cancer Research to discover and develop new prognostic and/or predictive signatures and related tests to aid in the selection of treatments for HNSCC.

Multiple independent retrospective datasets were utilized as part of the initial signature discovery, including those providing for its initial clinical utility. Oral cavity HNSCC patients with lymph node-negative disease, who are typically treated with surgical resection without additional radiation and/or chemotherapy, were identified as mesenchymal or non-mesenchymal based upon the novel RNA-based signature. For the nearly one-quarter who were mesenchymal, survival was 2.4-fold worse compared to the remaining non-mesenchymal patients. A future diagnostic test, based upon this signature and related clinical findings, potentially may be used to ‘upstage’ patients typically receiving only surgical reduction to become candidates for the addition of radiation and/or chemotherapy.

“I am excited to present our initial findings from this important collaboration with my colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine and GeneCentric evaluating molecular subtypes for head and neck cancer,” said Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, GeneCentric co-founder and Director of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Center for Cancer Research. “In this study, our new RNA-based signature identified a significant population of patients who typically only undergo surgical resection based upon their lymph node status but have poor prognosis, making them likely candidates for additional treatment options such as radiation and/or chemotherapy.”

Full results from the initial molecular analysis and clinical utility from this study, as well as potential future applications, will be presented at the conference. Further demonstration of clinical utility is ongoing, as well as initial test development discussions with several commercial reference laboratories.

Details regarding the presentation are provided below and will be available following the meeting at–events/.

Title: Prognostic and predictive applications from mesenchymal gene expression subtype analysis for early-stage, HPV(-) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
First Author: Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, Department of Medical Oncology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Center for Cancer Research, Memphis, Tennessee
Abstract Number: 2142
Session: Session MS.CL11.02 – Biomarkers 2
Date: April 11, 2022
Time: 3:20-3:35 PM CST

About Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide, and in the United States it is estimated that there were approximately 66,000 new cases and 14,00 deaths in 2021. The 5-year overall survival for Stage I-II and III-IV HNSCC is approximately 70-90% and 40-60%, respectively. Oral cavity HNSCC is the most common head and neck cancer, accounting for one-third of cases with a majority HPV-negative and associated with tobacco use. While the treatment of HNSCC depends on multiple tumor and patient-related factors, the three main treatments are surgical resection, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Patients with early-stage lymph node-negative tumors are generally treated with surgical resection, but treatment for those with more advanced lymph node-positive tumors often includes radiation and/or chemotherapy.

About GeneCentric
GeneCentric Therapeutics, Inc. is an RNA-based genomic solutions provider based in Durham, North Carolina. The company designed its technologies to parse the complexity of tumor and immune biology using its RNA-based Tumor and Immune Micro-Environment (rT(I)ME) Explorer platform to discover and develop signatures of responder populations to oncology therapeutics. GeneCentric commercializes its technology through strategic collaborations with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics companies in applications throughout preclinical testing, clinical drug development and commercialization lifecycle phases. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn.

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Robin Fastenau
[email protected]