WALTER KOCH

Ph.D., Vice President & Head of Global Research, Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

Dr. Koch has been in his current role of VP and Head of Global Research for Roche Molecular Systems since 2005. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, he sits on the Life Cycle and Business Development committees, and chairs the Research Portfolio Committee. He is responsible for all RMD research and early development activities, including research efforts associated with biomarker discovery and validation, the development of new platform technologies, and fundamental improvements in the performance of existing products and technologies. He joined RMS in 1998 as a Research Leader and helped lead the launch of the AmpliChip CYP450 assay.

 

Session: Noninvasive Liquid Biopsies for Cancer Patients

Tumor tissue biopsies are invasive, costly, time-consuming and often inaccessible. Liquid biopsies enabled by new ultrasensitive PCR and NGS allow analysis of tumor derived nucleic acids and cells in the blood. They may be used to assess therapy selection for targeted therapeutics, initial therapy response, disease progression, and drug resistance mechanisms. Hear from those who are driving clinical development of liquid biopsies about what is possible, what has been achieved, and what challenges remain to make liquid biopsies routine in the clinic.

Optimizing NSCLC Treatment with Plasma EGFR Mutation Testing

Detection of EGFR mutations in the blood of NSCLC patients provides a minimally invasive sample to guide therapy selection. Serial monitoring of EGFR mutation levels after initiating TKI treatment is prognostic for overall response, allows prediction of intrinsic resistance, and can detect disease progression many months prior to radiographic or symptomatic evidence. Finally, detection of specific resistance mutations in blood (eg EGFR T790M) can direct selection of third generation inhibitors that are efficacious in these tumors.

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