Targeting Unique Copy Number Vulnerabilities In Tumor Cells

Tech ID: 29882 / UC Case 2018-120-0


In the last ten years much progress has been achieved on the genome analysis of cancer causing genes, mainly driven by the advances of whole genome sequencing and the identification of driver mutations. The detection of thousands of mutations in single samples as well as in large cohorts led by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the Cancer Genome Project (CGP), and the International Cancer Genome Consortium have driven these advances. As of 2018, data from these projects and current literature has generated a list of 522 cancer genes in the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC). The increasing application of precision medicine for individual cancers has increased the focus of identifying additional and rare drivers of mutations. To that end, some focus has been on the identification of oncogene amplification on extrachromosomal DNA.

Technology Description

To that end, Researchers at UC San Diego collaborated in efforts to demonstrate that upon whole genome sequencing and analysis on 17 different cancer types that circular extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) was found on approximately 50 per cent of human cancers analyzed. Driver oncogenes, can be defined as driver genes in which driver mutations are activating or result in new functions. These driver mutations are part of the cancer pathogenesis that enables malignant tumors to rapidly develop, metastasize and ultimately resist treatment and are found on ecDNAs. The reversible loss of ecDNA is potent mechanism by which tumors resist treatment with targeted inhibitors. The inventors have developed a number of methods to target cancers with ecDNA with the potential of developing potential therapeutic interventions which provides a new way of developing cancer drugs.


Would include cancer therapy and diagnostic tests.


The data demonstrate that oncogene amplification on extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) confers unique vulnerabilities to tumor cells that form the next generation of cancer drug targets, providing an entirely new way of developing cancer drugs and directing them to patients whose tumors are driven by oncogene amplification.

Intellectual Property Info

This technology is patent pending and available for licensing and/or research sponsorship.

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Patent Status

Patent Pending


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Other Information


driver mutations, cancer, extrachromosomal DNA, tumor resistance, oncogenes, genomic analysis, DNA sequencing

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