Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Molecular & Clinical Diagnostics
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

BC Team Leading Innovative Advances for Childhood Cancer Diagnostics

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Bookmark and Share
ChildSeq-RNA assay to identify specific genetic alterations in childhood sarcomas.

A Vancouver based team led by Dr. Poul Sorensen, and funded in part by Genome BC, is providing meaningful advances in identifying genetic alterations in childhood sarcoma cancer tumours.

Childhood sarcomas are aggressive cancers that affect the bones and soft tissues of children and adolescents. These cancers are often very challenging, time-consuming and costly to diagnose accurately using standard microscope and molecular diagnostic techniques (PCR).

Since effective and curative treatments are directly linked to accurate and early diagnosis there is a significant need for precise, rapid and cost-effective molecular tools to help diagnose these cancers. Although, this has been happening with some success more advances are required.

The research team developed a novel diagnostic assay called "ChildSeq-RNA" based on next-generation sequencing technology to identify specific genetic alterations in childhood sarcomas known as gene fusions.

The technology has been proven to be more sophisticated than current methods because it looks for multiple gene fusions at the same time. The assay is also more rapid, informative, and cost-effective than current methodologies.

"This assay has the potential to bring research into real-time clinical analysis," says Dr. Sorensen, Senior Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia. "In my work I see a genuine need for this kind of diagnostic tool and I am proud that we have come up with it right here in BC."

ChildSeq-RNA is projected to be widely adopted by clinical laboratories worldwide and is being evaluated in a clinical setting at the prestigious and top ranked Texas Children's Hospital at Baylor College of Medicine. The research advances made by the multi-disciplinary team have recently been published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

"We congratulate the team on the development of this important research and their work to date," said Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC. "Bringing discovery from bench to bedside is a key tenant of our mission and we are proud to help this team advance a new company based on their technology."

The research project, entitled Use of the Ion Torrent Next Generation Sequencing Platform for Rapid and Accurate Diagnosis of Childhood Cancers was funded through Genome BC's Proof of Concept program which to date represents a total investment of $9.6M for new genomics-related research projects.

This program provides financial support to accelerate the commercialization process for new genomics-related scientific or technological innovations; facilitate the advancement of discoveries based in genomics from the innovation to proof-of-concept stage "in a real world setting"; and develop new and novel products and services to the point that they are ready for licensing, industry investment, or spin-out.

The successful development of the assay has also spurred the creation of Fusion Genomics, a next generation sequencing assay development and bioinformatics company. "In addition to childhood sarcomas, the company is actively pursuing collaborations with leading international institutions to devise new tests for various others cancers, infectious diseases, and other diseases of global importance," says Dr. Mohammad Qadir, Chief Scientific Officer at Fusion Genomics.

"The aim of Fusion Genomics is to offer rapid, unambiguous and cost effective tools, including complete hands off analysis using Fusion Genomics proprietary and secure online computing platform to deliver "benchtop to desktop" services - this could lead to early and more effective diagnosis, which will ultimately save more lives".

Fusion's strategic business development and online computing services, known as a FusionCloud, are being supported through VentureLabs®, a world-class business accelerator program partnership of the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, in collaboration with Compute Canada.

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 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ 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 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
Will Brain Palpation Soon Be Possible?
Researchers have developed non-invasive brain imaging technique which provides the same information as physical palpation.
Groundbreaking Computer Program Diagnoses Cancer in Two Days
Researchers have combined genetics with computer science and created a new diagnostic technology can with 85 per cent certainty identify the source of the disease and thus target treatment and, ultimately, improve the prognosis for the patient.
Detecting HIV Diagnostic Antibodies with DNA Nanomachines
New research may revolutionize the slow, cumbersome and expensive process of detecting the antibodies that can help with the diagnosis of infectious and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV.
Horse Illness Shares Signs of Human Disease
Horses with a rare nerve condition have similar signs of disease as people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, a study has found.
Compound Doubles Up On Cancer Detection
Researchers have found that tagging a pair of markers found almost exclusively on a common brain cancer yields a cancer signal that is both more obvious and more specific to cancer.
The Age of Humans Controlling Microbes
Engineered bacteria could soon be used to detect environmental toxins, treat diseases, and sustainably produce chemicals and fuels.
Predictive Model for Breast Cancer Progression
Biomedical engineers have demonstrated a proof-of-principle technique that could give women and their oncologists more personalized information to help them choose options for treating breast cancer.
Are Changes to Current Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines Required?
Editorial suggests more research is needed to pinpoint age to end aggressive screening.
New Molecular Marker for Killer Cells
Cell marker enables prognosis about the course of infections.
Sniffing Out Cancer
Scientists have been exploring new ways to “smell” signs of cancer by analyzing what’s in patients’ breath.
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
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos