Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Next Gen Sequencing
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Massachusetts General Hospital Adopts Advanced Analytical Technology in Fight Against Cancer

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Company's Fragment Analyzer evaluates DNA and RNA of cancer patients.

The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Integrated Diagnostics in Boston has been applying molecular pathology in the ongoing battle against cancer. Patients at MGH are routinely tested with advanced, specialized clinical assays to profile their tumors at the molecular level. Identification of cancer driver mutations would enable oncologists to customize treatments for their patients in a more personalized manner or to better define the patient’s disease with respect to diagnosis and/or prognosis. This type of genotyping and personalized medicine for cancer is being practiced in academic medical centers across the country.

For the last two years MGH Center for Integrated Diagnostics has been using an instrument called the Fragment Analyzer™as part of its routine clinical diagnostic workflow. Designed and manufactured in Ames, Iowa, by Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc., the Fragment Analyzer is an automated capillary electrophoresis instrument for evaluating DNA and RNA size and quantity. The Fragment Analyzer provides excellent data quality, automation, and speed, which are important particularly for clinical laboratories that need to process samples, generate data, analyze the results, and report the findings back to the clinicians in an efficient manner.

Dr. Long Phi Le, a pathologist at MGH, said, “We had been looking for an alternative to agarose gel electrophoresis for a number of our clinical assays and also for next-generation sequencing applications. Our goal has always been to provide clinicians and staff with timely, safe and accurate results to ensure the best patient care possible.” In particular, the laboratory now performs clinical MGMT and MLH1 promoter methylation analysis with the instrument which is faster and safer than using agarose gel electrophoresis with ethidium bromide staining. The data output from the ProSize software also eliminates the need to visualize and capture images of the agarose gel while yielding better resolution and sensitivity than gel electrophoresis.

In addition to routine clinical applications, the Fragment Analyzer has also been instrumental in assay development for the laboratory. The MGH Center for Integrated Diagnostics recently launched a novel targeted RNA-seq next-generation sequencing assay for clinical detection of gene fusions for ALK, RET, andROS1. These targets are particularly important for patients with lung adenocarcinoma for which there is the FDA-approved crizotinib inhibitor that has been demonstrated to be effective. This test is based on a method called anchored multiplex PCR (AMP), which was developed at MGH. The Fragment Analyzer was a critical tool used in the development of the assay particularly for qualitative analysis of the targeted libraries that were generated during the optimization of the protocol.

Finally Dr. Le’s group has further plans to launch two targeted next-generation sequencing cancer panels in 2014. One panel highly focused on hotspots and also a few key tumor suppressor genes is designed for rapid turnaround and low input DNA. The second will be a larger gene panel covering all exons of many cancer genes. Both clinical assays will be used for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissues which is a challenging substrate to handle given the poor quality of DNA in these samples resulting from fixation. The Fragment Analyzer will be used during the development of these assays and also in clinical production to analyze the quality of input samples and their libraries prior to sequencing. Dr. Le states, “It is important in a diagnostic laboratory to have quality metrics to ensure that the work we perform and the results we report meet clinical standards, particularly for specimens of poor integrity like FFPE.”

“It gives all of our employees great satisfaction to know that an outstanding organization like Massachusetts General Hospital is using our product for such a worthy cause,” said Dr. Steven J. Lasky, CEO of Advanced Analytical Technologies. “We also take great pride in the technical support we provide to ALL of our customers. We recognize that it’s not enough to design and build great products – we also need to stand behind them with great technical support."


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Utilization of Circulating Biomarkers for Minimally Invasive Diagnostics Development
Market Trends in Biofluid-based Liquid Biopsies: Deploying Circulating Biomarkers in the Clinic. Enal Razvi, Ph.D., Managing Director, Select Biosciences, Inc.
Rescuing Genetic Material from Formaldehyde Treated Tissue Samples
Formaldehyde is excellent for preserving cellular structures, but it makes it difficult to pull genetic information from tissue samples. Eric Kool and colleagues have developed a catalyst that saves RNA, which could lead to better patient outcomes.
DNA Damage Seen in Patients Undergoing CT Scanning
Along with the burgeoning use of advanced medical imaging tests over the past decade have come rising public health concerns about possible links between low-dose radiation and cancer.
Web App Helps Researchers Explore Cancer Genetics
Brown University computer scientists have developed a new interactive tool to help researchers and clinicians explore the genetic underpinnings of cancer.
New Research Advances Genetic Studies in Wildlife Conservation
‘Next-gen’ DNA sequencing of non-invasively collected hair expands field of conservation genetics.
Gene Testing Now Allows Precision Medicine for Thoracic Aneurysms
Researchers at the Aortic Institute at Yale have tested the genomes of more than 100 patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms, a potentially lethal condition, and provided genetically personalized care.
OGT’s Popular ESHG Workshop Free to View Online
Learn about the next generation of microarrays in one of the best attended workshops of the conference.
Discordant NIPT Test Results May Reflect Presence of Maternal Cancer
Results published in Journal of the American Medical Association.
Sperm RNA Test May Improve Evaluation of Male Infertility
To help resolve uncertainty—and guide prospective parents to the right fertility treatments—scientists propose the use of a new kind of fertility test. It involves examining sperm RNA by means of next-generation sequencing.
How the Mammoth Got its Wool
Evolutionary change in a gene reconstructed in the lab from the woolly mammoth was part of a suite of adaptations that allowed the mammoth to survive in harsh arctic environments, according to new research.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!