Protean BioDiagnostics: One Way to Access Full-Service Precision Oncology Testing

Curious Dr. George
Cancer Commons Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, is the face and curator of this invitation-only column

Anthony M. Magliocco, MD
Founder & CEO, Protean BioDiagnostics

The use of advanced molecular testing of various cancers over the last 10-15 years has driven development of the field of precision oncology. Now, many patients with a variety of cancer types can benefit from targeted therapies. However, accessing precision testing and treatment can be a major challenge. Our Curious Dr. George asks Anthony M. Magliocco, MD, Founder and CEO of Protean BioDiagnostics, how his company enables better access.

Curious Dr. George: Proper selection of precision treatment requires reliable testing of individual, potentially lethal tumors. While comprehensive cancer centers and academic medical centers have pioneered this service, some 80% of Americans with cancer are treated elsewhere. Your Orlando, Florida-based company, Protean BioDiagnostics, purports to be “the only cancer diagnostic system that integrates pathology review with evidence-based testing.” How does that work and how can physicians and patients anywhere access your services?

Anthony M. Magliocco, MD: Thank you for this important question. As you mentioned, with the completion of the Human Genome Project and tremendous advances in understanding cancer biology, we have learned that there are many molecular subtypes of cancer that can be treated with specific targeted agents, creating the discipline of precision oncology. A great example is lung cancer, where we have learned that a significant proportion of cases are driven by development of EGFR mutations and that these cases will respond well to anti-EGFR therapies. This sounds great so far, but the problem is that less than half of Americans with lung cancer get access to proper EGFR molecular testing, and even if they do, many do not end up getting access to effective therapies.

One of the key problems in the U.S. is that cancer care is fragmented, and the majority of cases are treated by generalist oncologists outside of major academic centers. This creates many challenges, as the field of molecular diagnostics and precision oncology is moving very quickly and becoming extremely complicated, with different classifications and treatment options for cancers that arise in different organs. The choices for testing and treatment have become overwhelming for the generalist.

Protean seeks to solve this problem in two main ways. First, we have created a full precision oncology system, the Protean MAPS™ platform, which provides easy access to Protean services in which tests are organized into guideline-based bundles, and results are integrated into easy-to-understand reports. In addition, Protean provides pathology review services to ensure that the primary diagnosis is correct and the correct tissue samples are being selected for molecular testing. Protean also supports community-based general oncologists with access to decision-support tools and virtual tumor boards, as well as support for clinical trial matching.

Protean provides quick and easy access to testing services in our Orlando CAP CLIA lab, which is licensed for all U.S. states including California, Pennsylvania, and New York, and supports diagnostics with a large network of specialist pathologists and molecular experts. The lab provides a full menu of proprietary testing, including cancer screening and monitoring tests, genetic risk tests, pathology services including Pathology AI assessments, rapid molecular testing and comprehensive molecular analysis with large panels, 3D genomics, and access to global methylation profiling.

Clients can easily access Protean’s lab services using secure electronic portals. Protean then organizes tissue acquisition, blood testing with a network of phlebotomists, and genetics when needed with at-home testing and counselling. It makes life easy for oncologists and their office staff. Protean’s ultra-rapid testing services provide results within a few days, enabling patients to obtain faster access to treatments and clinical trial options. Protean’s data services include secure cloud-based medical data management and integrations using current interoperability standards, as well as data tools, including bioinformatics and machine-learning and AI approaches.

In summary, Protean provides easy access to the latest advances in precision oncology for any practitioner or patient in the U.S. or beyond. Our advanced testing, digital pathology, and telemedicine coupled with complex data management make Protean a unique health technology company focused on delivering better access to novel treatments and clinical trials for cancer patients everywhere. Protean maintains a very active research program and is continuously updating its menu of services to accommodate the rapid advances in cancer diagnostics and treatments.

Our goal is to close the existing cancer care gap and accelerate access to the best cancer treatments for all.

Curious Dr. George: Thank you for telling us all about Protean. What is the best way for patients and caregivers to contact Protean? Can they access the process directly, or must they go through a licensed provider?

Dr. Magliocco: Patients can certainly come to us directly to request reviews and testing at this link. We do not need a healthcare provider to order services, although they certainly can, and we can work with patient care teams as needed. Many services are covered by insurance plans as well.

For direct-pay patients, we typically will charge $400 for registration and review of the case materials and pathology slides, with full recommendations for any additional testing, if needed, and a telemedicine consultation with an expert is included.

After registration, we work with the patient to collect their medical records using secure communications and can arrange for any additional testing that might be required, including accessing previous specimens, coordinating genetic testing, or arranging for blood and liquid biopsy testing services.

I also have an educational YouTube channel for patients, Cancer Informant, where I post periodic videos. Patients can find more information and updates on the Cancer Informant website.

Dr. Magliocco can be reached at



Copyright: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

  1. JAIME
    JAIME says:

    We have used the services of Protean Biodiagnostics for a young doctor with a Glioblastoma who was shunned away from any further treatment. Our institution in Colombia (South America) offered Protean services as a third-party consultant, and the FFPE materials along with the clinical history were submitted for further review plus tests. A swift response showed three actionable mutations that allowed a precision-tailored treatment. It’s been almost three years since that event, and our customer is doing well, he still has the tumor, but it is under control, and he has resumed a good part of his daily enjoyable activities.