Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) has furthered its commitment to fighting cancer with the launch of a new solid tumour profiling next-generation sequencing service to advance vital research into personalised cancer care. OGT is the first commercial facility in the UK to offer this service.
OGT’s SureSeq™ Solid Tumour Panel Sequencing Service profiles the mutations of patient tumours for 58 cancer-associated genes prioritised by Cancer Research UK and leading cancer researchers. The genes include those important in breast, prostate, ovarian, lung and colorectal cancers, many with currently actionable mutations. OGT also offers researchers the flexibility to further customise the panel by adding additional genes of interest.
The panel of 58 genes was developed in collaboration with researchers at the Salisbury and Birmingham NHS Regional Genetics Laboratories as part of a £1.16 million funding award from the UK Government-backed Technology Strategy Board’s Stratified Medicines programme. The ultimate aim of the programme is to improve patient care and achieve significant cost savings over the single gene tests currently available. OGT has applied its extensive expertise in probe design to Agilent’s industry-leading SureSelect™ hybridisation methodology, to deliver an assay with unparalleled uniformity of targeted sequence enrichment, excellent accuracy and sensitivity of variant detection across full genes, and robust performance with FFPE samples. All results are delivered in a comprehensive interactive web-based report to enable informed interpretation of results.
Dr Mike Evans, CEO at OGT said: “We are committed to tackling cancer by developing tools for cancer research, such as biomarkers for early detection and tumour profiling assays, such as SureSeq. This comprehensive, full-gene assay allows clinical researchers to accurately identify known and de novo mutations, enabling the development of informed, personalised cancer treatment strategies. We are proud to be working alongside the Technology Strategy Board and NHS in order to revolutionise cancer profiling and treatment.”
The project partners, including Salisbury and Birmingham NHS Regional Genetics Laboratories, validated the tumour profiling assay with fresh, frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples. In a blind study of previously genotyped clinical samples, the assay accurately detected all variants present. Through expert probe design by OGT and improved uniformity of sequence enrichment, the assay also delivered an improved likelihood of variant discovery across all regions of the genes, enabling the detection of low-frequency somatic variants in heterogeneous cancer samples.
Dr Alasdair Gaw, Lead Technologist, Stratified Medicine at the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board said: “We are pleased with the progress made by OGT and its partners in the development of this new tumour profiling assay. We are confident that the implementation of such assays will significantly advance our understanding of cancer, enabling stratified medicine and the development of personalised cancer treatment regimes that will significantly improve patient care.”