Waltham, Mass • 2024-05-06

BostonGene and the Medical College of Wisconsin Announce the Publication and Journal Cover Feature in Gastroenterology Highlighting Transcriptomic-Based Tumor Microenvironment Classification for Precision Medicine in Pancreatic Cancer

Study reveals four distinct tumor microenvironment subtypes in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, guiding personalized treatment decisions

BostonGene, a leading provider of AI-driven molecular and immune profiling solutions, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, today announced the manuscript “Transcriptomic-Based Microenvironment Classification Reveals Precision Medicine Strategies for PDAC'' has published online and in print in Gastroenterology, the premier journal in the field of gastrointestinal disease. BostonGene’s artwork was also chosen for the cover of the May publication. The journal highlights original research, reviews and expert insights in adult and pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology, covering clinical, translational and basic aspects of the digestive system, liver, pancreas and nutrition. The study identified four distinct tumor microenvironment (TME) subtypes, unveiling a promising path forward in the fight against PDAC and underscoring the importance of considering TME features in personalized therapeutic strategies.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has long been notorious for its aggressive nature and genetic complexity, making it difficult for doctors to predict how patients will respond to treatment and for scientists to develop effective predictive biomarkers and targeted therapies. To address these unmet needs, Ben George, MD, at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in collaboration with BostonGene, led a study utilizing a transcriptomic profiling platform to classify the TME of PDAC based on functional gene expression signatures. This innovative approach analyzed data from publicly available PDAC datasets and was further validated in a clinically annotated, independent cohort of PDAC patients from the LaBahn Pancreatic Cancer Program, part of the MCW Cancer Center.

“For a long while, the scientific community believed that pancreatic cancer was not responsive to immunotherapy, which uses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. We’ve since made new discoveries that show that pancreatic cancer that spreads to the lungs is biologically distinct, prognostically favorable, and potentially responsive to immunotherapy compared to those that spread to the liver,” said Ben George, MD, William F. Stapp Endowed Chair; Professor of Medicine and Medical Director, Cancer Clinical Trials Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. “Together with BostonGene, we hope to further characterize the biologically distinct PDAC subtypes and investigate how different treatments can modify the TME of pancreatic cancers. Our goal is to design prospective clinical trials, which will be made available through the MCW Cancer Center, to test various immunomodulatory strategies based on these four subtypes.”

As part of the collaboration, BostonGene utilized an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven algorithm to reconstruct the transcriptomic data and identified four distinct TME subtypes: immune-enriched (IE), immune-enriched with fibrosis (IE/F), fibrotic (F) and immune-depleted (D). Importantly, patients with immune-enriched subtypes, IE and IE/F, demonstrated a more favorable prognosis and showed potential responsiveness to immunotherapy than those classified as F and D. 

"We're excited to unveil our latest research, which sheds light on the intricate tumor microenvironment of PDAC," said Ben George. "These results pave the way for transcriptomic-based  immunotherapeutic strategies in PDAC, bringing us closer to personalized treatment approaches for this challenging disease."

"Our findings not only define a subgroup of PDAC patients who may benefit from immunotherapeutic interventions but also sets the stage for prospective clinical trials to validate the predictive utility of these transcriptomic TME PDAC subtypes,” said Nathan Fowler, MD, Chief Medical Officer at BostonGene.

About BostonGene Corporation

BostonGene has a mission to provide transformative, AI-integrated molecular analytics and biomarker discovery for precision matching of therapies to improve the lives of patients living with cancer and other immune-related diseases. BostonGene offers customized client solutions using a multi-omic approach prioritized for real-world impact, optimizing standard-of-care therapies, accelerating research and delivering cost-effective, measurable data-driven results. BostonGene’s tests reveal key drivers of each patient’s unique disease profile, including an in-depth analysis of the immune microenvironment, actionable mutations, biomarkers of response to diverse therapies and recommended treatments. Through these comprehensive analyses, BostonGene’s tests generate a personalized roadmap for therapeutic decision-making for each patient. For more information, visit BostonGene at http://www.BostonGene.com.

Erin O’Reilly

Senior Director