Early Cancer Detection using cf-DNA Methylation Bio-Markers in the Blood

Dor Yuval , HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, Developmental Biology and Cancer Research



Life Sciences and Biotechnology   


cell-free DNA, cancer, early-diagnosis

Current development stage

For Pharmaceutical development: TRL4 - PoC&Safety of candidate device or system is demonstrated in a defined lab or animal model


Cancer is one of the leading causes of both illness and death around the world. Cancer-related mortality rate can be dramatically reduced in cases of early detection and immediate treatment. Therefore, the cancer diagnostics market size is expected to hit $260bn by 2027.

The present technology for early detection of cancer takes advantage of physiological cell death, which often involves the release of short DNA fragments into the blood, known as circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA). You can identify cfDNA through liquid biopsy, a technology that has recently emerged as a powerful diagnostic tool for identifying genetic mutations in DNA molecules originating from tumors. However, due to the typically low number of informative driver mutations in cancer, this approach is constrained by tumor size. Our invention describes a method that may overcome this by interpreting the methylome patterns of cfDNA.

Our innovation
The invention aims to develop highly specific biomarkers for tumor DNA enabling early detection of cancer using a simple blood test.

The technology dramatically increases the sensitivity of cfDNA-based approaches by considering the DNA methylation patterns of circulating cell-free DNA, across multiple genomic regions. The researchers have identified dozens of genomic regions that are typically methylated in cancer cells and therefor could serve as sensitive pan-cancer biomarkers in the blood.

Our current technology focuses on uniquely identified sites in the genome that are methylated differently in cancer and non-cancer tissues. It uses strict criteria (very low background in blood and healthy tissues) and cutting-edge computational tools that increase the chance of detecting exceedingly rare amounts of tumor DNA in plasma.

The suggested method examines only relevant genetic sites, and therefore is more specific and low cost than other liquid biopsy diagnostic technologies.



Contact for more information:

Mel Larrosa
VP Business Development Healthcare
Contact ME:
All projects by:Dor Yuval (5)