OncoBEAM™—an alternative to tissue biopsies

Testing for cancer in blood

Why a blood-based biopsy?

Although standard in cancer detection, tissue biopsies come with some major drawbacks. They’re invasive, subject to selection-bias, and take a long time to yield results, delaying treatment decisions.

Blood-based biopsies with OncoBEAM™ can overcome those challenges. They require only a simple blood draw, and the results gained provide a real-time, genetic evaluation of your tumor’s mutational status. Understanding the unique genetic composition of your tumor can help your doctor select the most effective treatment options for your cancer and obtain information about your tumor that may not be available in a tissue specimen.

The science behind OncoBEAM™

As tumor cells grow, they release small amounts of mutant DNA into your bloodstream. These rare traces of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) can be detected with only the most advanced molecular tests. OncoBEAM™ uses highly-sensitive BEAMing technology (which combines beads, digital PCR, emulsions, magnetics, and laser technologies) to accurately detect ctDNA in your blood, and help your doctor more rapidly choose the best treatment for you.

Get results in 5–7 days

Patient visits clinic for blood draw

Patient visits clinic for blood draw

Sample is tested with OncoBEAM™

Sample is tested with OncoBEAM™

Results are reported within 5-7 days

Results are reported within 5-7 days

We report results in just 5 to 7 days, so your doctor can identify an appropriate therapy right away.

OncoBEAM™ can detect mutations in

Lung cancer
Colorectal cancer
Lung cancer case scenario

Avoiding a repeat biopsy

A 64-year-old woman was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC. Her tumor was EGFR-positive. A repeat tissue biopsy was considered to evaluate the presence of a T790M mutation.

The OncoBEAM™ solution

OncoBEAM™ EGFR can test the EGFR T790M mutation amongst multiple sites of disease with a simple blood draw, avoiding the need for an additional tissue biopsy.

Colorectal cancer case scenario

Avoiding multiple invasive biopsies

A 65 year old man presents with metastatic colorectal cancer upon routine screening. Imaging reveals liver lesions that are unresectable due to size and insufficient future liver remnant. Systemic therapy is recommended to attempt conversion to resectable hepatic disease. In accordance with clinical practice guidelines, tumor RAS/BRAF status must first be evaluated.

OncoBEAM™ CRC1 testing is ordered to evaluate the mutational status of both primary and metastatic sites. Testing reveals a RAS mutant tumor, eliminating consideration of anti-EGFR therapy.

The OncoBEAM™ solution

OncoBEAM™ CRC1 test enabled a systemic mutation assessment of the extent of the patient’s tumor burden without the need for multiple invasive biopsies at each site.

Melanoma case scenario

Obtaining rapid test results

A 43-year-old patient arrived at a hospital with a large, unusual bleeding mass and a low hematocrit of 21%.

A routine, preliminary workup determined that the patient had advanced melanoma with lung metastases. A tumor tissue biopsy and blood biopsy with OncoBEAM™ were obtained. After collection, both samples were sent for mutation analysis.

The OncoBEAM™ solution

The OncoBEAM™ biopsy revealed a BRAF V600E mutation in just three days (10 fewer than the tissue biopsy). The patient was immediately put on combination BRAF/MEK inhibitor therapy and experienced a rapid response.

Talk to your doctor about testing with OncoBEAM™


Can OncoBEAM™ diagnose cancer?

No, OncoBEAM™ today is used for mutation testing in advanced and metastatic cancer patients.

Can OncoBEAM™ be used for all cancer types?

OncoBEAM™ can be used for most cancers where the tumor has accessed the circulatory system and released ctDNA. Multiple tumor types have been shown to shed ctDNA including: lung, colorectal, pancreatic, prostate, breast, and melanoma. Certain cancers, depending on their location, may not shed ctDNA as readily as others.1

Can OncoBEAM™ be used to monitor the status of my tumor?

Yes. Plasma mutation status correlates with response to therapy and there is growing evidence that it can be used to understand tumor activity disease progression.2, 3

Does OncoBEAM™ detect all gene mutations?

Not quite. OncoBEAM™ detects mutations in hotspot locations on the clinically relevant genes that are indicated in clinical practice guidelines for patient care.

How long will it take to get results?

Results from our CLIA-certified laboratory in Baltimore, MD are reported in 5–7 days from the time we receive your blood sample.

Can OncoBEAM™ test tissue?

We do not offer tissue testing services for clinical use at this time.

How much blood is required to conduct a test?

We generally require 10-20 mL of blood.

How are OncoBEAM™ tests billed and reimbursed?

Sysmex Inostics accepts all insurance plans, but OncoBEAM™ tests are currently not in-network with most carriers. We are working to become in-network with payors. Sysmex Inostics directly bills insurance or Medicare and patients are not responsible for any balance that is not covered by insurance or Medicare. Deductibles may apply if applicable. Sysmex Inostics does not accept uninsured or Medicaid patients at this time.

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Get answers to your questions about OncoBEAM™

About Sysmex Inostics

Learn more about the makers of OncoBEAM™


  1. Karlovich, C. A. et al. Assessment of EGFR mutation status in matched plasma and tumor tissue of NSCLC patients from a phase 1 study of rociletinib (CO-1686). Clin. Cancer Res. (2016). doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-1260
  2. Diehl F., Schmidt K., Choti M.A., Romans K., Goodman S., Li M., Thornton K., Agrawal N., Sokoll L., Szabo S.A., Kinzler K.W., Vogelstein B., Diaz L.A. Jr. Circulating mutant DNA to assess tumor dynamics. Nature Medicine 2008; 14, 985-990 / Holdenrieder et al, Presented at Sysmex Inostics Symposium; June 2, 2014
  3. Piotrowska, Z. et al. Heterogeneity Underlies the Emergence of EGFRT790 Wild-Type Clones Following Treatment of T790M-Positive Cancers with a Third-Generation EGFR Inhibitor. Cancer Discov (2015). doi:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-15-0399