This weekend we are in Orlando, FL for the
NAPBC Best Practices Conference
14). The NAPBC Best Practices Conference is a showcase of successful processes and tools of National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC)-accredited breast centers. Breast program leaders and care team members are sharing innovative and efficient methodologies that have been successfully implemented in accredited breast programs across the country and offering tools for adoption of these best practices.
Listen to the New Podcast with Lattice CEO, Guy Cook!
|"It's a tremendous opportunity to become a major player in the Global cancer tumor profiling market predicted to reach $35 billion a year by 2018." - Gaalen Engen, Stockhouse Publishing
Recently, Stockhouse Publishing Head of Editorial Gaalen Engen sat down with Lattice Biologics Ltd. CEO Guy Cook to discuss:
what sets the company apart within the biotech space, its current projects, and how the technology behind their Next Generation Allografts and precision cancer diagnostics work.
"Through the use of its ECM technology, the Company is developing a disruptive cancer diagnostic technique that is sure to
revolutionize the way oncologists treat patients by allowing them to find the best possible anti-cancer drug regimen specific to the patient, without subjecting that patient to the traditional trial-and-error methodology.
As a result, significantly increasing the possibility of safe, successful cancer treatment."
GC: Regarding the current standard of care:
"At no point is the oncologist given a regimen as to how to treat exactly that tumor and that's what this technology allows us to do."
"We can give the oncologist exactly what anti-cancer drugs they should use, whether it's off-label or on-label for that particular tumor or not and we can tell you that specific dosage. And if the patient develops resistance, we can give you a second best recommendation that might use a different class of drugs and use a different pathway as to how it attacks the tumor."
Tackling one of Brain Cancer's Biggest Beasts: Glioblastoma
Glioblastoma Facts & Stats
(GBM), also known as
grade IV astrocytoma
, is the most common and most aggressive type of cancer
that begins within the brain
Malignant Roots: Glioblastomas are a type of
, tumors that arise from astrocytes (the star-shaped cells that make up the "glue-like," or supportive tissue of the brain). These tumors are usually highly malignant (cancerous) because the cells reproduce quickly and they are supported by a large network of blood vessels. Because these tumors come from normal brain cells, it is easy for them to invade and live within normal brain tissue. 
Dangerous Ways: Astrocytoma tumors are classified on a I to IV scale based on how normal/abnormal the cells look. Low-grade astrocytomas are usually localized and grow slowly. High-grade astrocytomas grow at a rapid pace and require a different course of treatment. 
As the term "grade IV astrocytoma" indicates, glioblastomas are comprised of the second most abnormal collection of cells.
Glioblastomas usually contain a mix of cell types. It is not unusual for these tumors to contain cystic mineral, calcium deposits, blood vessels, or a mixed grade of cells.
Treatment Difficulty & Resistance:
Glioblastoma can be difficult to treat because the tumors contain so many different types of cells. Some cells may respond well to certain therapies, while others may not be affected at all. This is why the treatment plan for glioblastoma may combine several approaches. 
Despite maximum treatment, the cancer usually recurs. 
It's Time to Turn the Tide on GBM
- The most common length of survival following diagnosis is 12 to 15 months. 
- Fewer than 3 to 5% of people survive past than five years. 
- Survival is typically 3 months without treatment. 
- Approximately 3 out of every 100,000 people develop the disease each year. 
Finding a Foothold: In order to make diagnostic advances against GBM by identifying quick-turnaround chemotherapy regimen recommendations to save time in combatting this rapidly progressing disease without using the patient's body as a testing ground, it will be important to develop an effective method for growing and sustaining these tumors outside of the body.
reproduce quickly in the body, they are notoriously difficult to grow in a laboratory setting.
One of Lattice's surgeon partners recently commented that there is wide support among the scientific and medical communities for the concept that cancerous tumors originate from aberrant stem cells, so it would make sense to utilize our
Extracellular Matrix (ECM) technology
as a way to mimic the cells' natural environment and effectively grow these tumors outside of the body.
According to the CSC hypothesis, cancer is
initiated and driven by aberrant stem cells derived from
normal, tissue-specific stem cells and/or stem cell nich
es. These tumor-initializing stem cells therefore have
self-renewal properties and the capacity to generate
progenitor stem cells similar to their normal stem cell
counterparts. However, the CSCs have deregulated
pathways of self-renewal and differentiation."
Lattice Biologics' ECM is decellularized technology derived from native ECM secreted by human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSC), potentially making it the ideal medium to support natural cancer tumor cell
Next Steps: In order to tackle this persistent challenge in the brain cancer realm, we will need to conduct bridging studies to show if we can utilize our patented ECM technology to grow these types of cells effectively.
We will keep you posted on progress as we get to move forward with this deeply critical work.
The Story of Taq: How the discovery of prehistoric microscopic organisms in Yellowstone National Park made viable DNA cloning, sequencing, and analysis possible.
The magical Taq polymerase was discovered by Montana State University (MSU) in the natural hot springs created by Yellowstone National Park's geysers at Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, MSU did not patent the discovery which was eventually picked up by Perkin Elmer. Rumor has it they are still sore about this... ; )
Learn how this discovery changed the trajectory of modern biotechnology.
Did You Know? "The discovery of a thermophile in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) in the 1960s is the reason modern science has been able to sequence the DNA genome of any organism, including the complete human genome; better understand and treat genetic diseases and aid law enforcement in identifying criminals?" 
Thermophiles Are No Ordinary Creatures! They "
are microscopic organisms
that live at high temperatures. They all
require hot water, and some may thrive
in acidic conditions while others live in
alkaline springs. Others utilize sulfur and
arsenic... They are living and thriving
in environments (such as) Yellowstone's hot
springs - that are lethal to humans.
"Some of these thermophiles are direct descendants of the earliest life forms on Earth. According to DNA analysis, the organism most closely related to the origin of life - Earth's most primitive species - lives in a hot spring in Yellowstone's Hayden Valley."
is a thermostable DNA polymerase
named after the thermophilic
from which it was originally isolated. "
microbiologist Dr. Thomas Brock
and undergraduate student Hudson Freeze (Indiana University) were able to isolate a novel bacteria, later named
, in the Lower Geyser Basin of YNP. They discovered Thermus aquaticus was living in temperatures around 70 C (158 F), a higher temperature than any other known organism at the time.
"In order to survive at this temperature, Thermus aquaticus must copy its own genetic information with a thermostable enzyme, DNA polymerase, in order to survive and replicate." 
(Spoiler Alert: "The discovery of this DNA polymerase enzyme and its application in a process called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) resulted in a Noble Prize for biochemist Kary Mullis in 1993 and has lead to the biotechnology revolution."  Read on!)
A few years Down the Road: In 1983, Kary Mullis developed "the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) - a process used in molecular biology to amplify a single copy or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence. 
the DNA polymerase Mullis was using was inactivated during the heating step required
after each round of replication.  To combat this challenge, a DNA polymerase source that could withstand higher temperatures was required.
The Incredible Benefits of Taq: B
Taq polymerase enzyme
can withstand extreme
temperatures demanded for PCR's protein-denaturing conditions, it proved essential
in the artificial replication of DNA [disc] when it replaced the DNA polymerase from E. coli originally used in PCR. Taq's optimum temperature for activity is 75-80°C and with a half-life of greater than 2 hours at 92.5°C it can replicate a 1000 base pair strand of DNA in less than 10 seconds at 72°C.
"Thus, the use of Taq polymerase was the key idea that made PCR applicable to a large variety of
problems concerning DNA analysis."
Powering PCR: "PCR acts as a sort of molecular copy machine, allowing for the duplication and amplification of DNA from a very small sample." 
"PCR is now a common and often indispensable technique used in medical and biological research labs for a variety of applications..."
- DNA cloning for sequencing
- DNA-based phylogeny, or functional analysis of genes
- Diagnosis of hereditary diseases
- Identification of genetic fingerprints (used in forensic sciences and DNA paternity testing)
- Detection and diagnosis of infectious diseases. 
Benefits of Other Thermophiles Found in Yellowstone:
Since 1966, many other species of
thermophiles have been identified in
Yellowstone, and each produces thousands of uncommon, heat-stable proteins. These heat-stable proteins are becoming increasingly important to advancements in science, medicine, and
industry. Thermophile research has already led to practical applications in:
- Producing ethanol
- Treating agricultural food waste
- Recovering oil
- Bleaching paper pulp
- Improving detergents, and a host of other discoveries." 
What's Next? R
believe that more than 99% of
Yellowstone's thermophiles are still unidentified. 
Bonus Fun Fact:
Lattice CEO Guy Cook
his career as a confocal microscopist utilizing novel
biomarkers at Montana State University, the birthplace of the Taq discovery.
Recent Industry Events
We had great meetings with some of the best onco-neurologists in the country at this year's AANS meeting!
Through our discussions, we learned there is a great deal of interest in expanding our cancer diagnostic tool (which is currently being tested on breast and ovarian tumors) to include brain tumors.
As a result, we are currently investigating collaborative relationships with multiple research and academic hospitals to validate the diagnostic for neurosurgeons.
Want to follow our progress as the technique advances with neurosurgery applications?
TSX-V:LBL Stock, Technology & Opportunity
 World Cancer Report 2014. World Health Organization. 2014. pp. Chapter 5.16.ISBN 9283204298
 Elliott, Craig. "Microbes thrive in extreme conditions; Thermophiles provide unique opportunities for scientific research." Yellowstone Discovery 2004, vol 19, num 3.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymerase_chain_reaction / Source: Saiki, R.; Scharf, S.; Faloona, F.; Mullis, K.; Horn, G.; Erlich, H.; Arnheim, N. (1985). "Enzymatic amplification of beta-globin genomic sequences and restriction site analysis for diagnosis of sickle cell anemia". Science 230 (4732): 1350-1354.doi:10.1126/science.2999980. PMID 2999980.