OncoStem – startup that helps to identify personalised breast cancer recurrence risks

▴ Breast cancer risk identification
OncoStem develops innovative prognostic tests for assessing aggressiveness of tumours in the breast. The test is known as CanAssist Breast Test. It helps in identifying the unique characteristics of cancer recurrence risk so that oncologists are able to design evidence-based treatment plans.

OncoStem’s CanAssist Breast Test examines the activity of proteins present in the cancerous tumour to predict the likelihood of recurrence of cancer of the breast post- surgery. It also helps determine which therapy would be more conducive for the patient - chemotherapy or just the hormone therapy, thus customizing the treatment. Manjiri Bakre is the CEO and Founder of OncoStem which was launched in the year 2011. She is a cell biology and cell signaling expert with more than 25 years of experience in research and technology in India, Singapore and the US. OncoStem is a product of her vision of developing and delivering cost effective, reliable and innovative diagnosis tests for designing customized cancer treatment plans. 

How does CanAssist Breast Test work?

In order to compute the risk of recurrence of cancer, a proteomics-based method and a proprietary machine learning-based algorithm is utilized to analyze a patented combination of protein biomarkers from the patient’s tumour. IHC (immunohistochemistry) data and clinical parameters are then used to calculate the risk score that classifies patients in high or low-risk categories. CanAssist Breast Test results also help low risk breast cancer patients to potentially avoid chemotherapy and its side effects. Once OncoStem’s laboratory receives the tumour sample, the reports can be shared with the oncologist within 10 working days.

Recognitions for innovative solution

Manjiri has won many awards for powerful stint in entrepreneurship like the Indian Achievers' Award 2021 for “Entrepreneur of the Year”, Top 25 voices in Precision Medicine Asia 2020 – BIS Research and Insight Monk, Startupreneur Award 2020 in the Pharma and Biotech Category by CII, Woman Entrepreneur of the year 2019, "25 Dominant Leaders to Watch in Health Care Industry 2019" - Startup City India, Aegis Graham Bell Awards 2021 in the Innovative Diagnostic Solutions Category etc. There are many publications and patents as well to her name.

Functioning and future plans of OncoStem

300+ oncologists, 10+ hospitals and diagnostics chains such as Oncquest, Dr Lal PathLabs, SRL are part of the organization’s network through which it functions. The startup aims to facilitate digital pathology solutions so that complete automation and decentralisation of the services are possible. This will make testing possible for any hospital in the world in their own laboratory. OncoStem is also doing robust research to develop similar tests for other cancer types including triple-negative breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Tags : #oncostem #canassistbreasttest #cancerrecurrencetest #riskcalculation #smitaprasad #medicircle

About the Author


Amrita Priya

The love for life-long learning brings me to this platform. There can be nothing better than learning from the experts when; it comes to; the domain of wellness and health-care. I am a writer who has loved exploring different mediums for the past two decades, be it the expression of ideas through books, magazine columns, newspaper articles, or digital content. This project is yet another satisfying avenue that keeps me hooked to the art of disseminating valuable information and in, this process enhancing the lives of fellow human beings and myself. You can write to me at [email protected]

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