Assays promise a new approach to leukemia research

THE HIGH sensitivity detection of genetic variation in leukemia samples, made possible by the use of 454 sequencing via newly-released sequence-based assays, offers a new direction for cancer researchers says Roche.

The company’s new GS GType Primer Sets allow the detection of genetic variation detection in four key human genes.

These genes – TET2, CBL, KRAS, and RUNX1 – are associated with developmental defects and disease in a range of leukemias and myeloid malignancies

Using Roche’s TET2/CBL/KRAS and the GS GType RUNX1 assays, deep sequencing of PCR amplicons covers key exon regions. The company says this approach offers better  sensitivity and faster results than traditional Sanger capillary sequencing.

Blood cancers including leukemia and other myeloproliferative disorders cause rapid, abnormal growth of blood cells. The difficulty for many cancer research projects is the characterisation of the wide range of types and sub-types of the diseases. Sanger sequencing, cytogenetics, and cytomorphology have been employed but can be expensive and slow when compared to the power of next-generation (next-gen) sequencing such as Roche’s 454 system.

Roche says that using the GS GType TET2/CBL/KRAS and the GS GType RUNX1 Primer Sets with 454 Sequencing enables researchers to detect genetic variants far below the limits found with Sanger.

The assays, which include primer plates, protocols, and dedicated analysis software, have been co-developed with and extensively tested at the MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory in Munich, Germany.

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