Lab21 Expands Cancer Gene Testing Service
News Jun 27, 2008
Lab21 is expanding its cancer gene testing service and has now added an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation test to its existing range.
Recent drug licenses for Amgen and Merck Serono in the colorectal cancer area have highlighted the growing emergence of companion diagnostics as a prerequisite to drug prescription in order to tailor therapies to specific patients.
Both Vectibix™ and Erbitux™ require analysis of the KRAS gene in the tumor prior to therapy and Lab21 recently launched its KRAS mutational analysis service within the UK.
Other clinical data suggests that patients with mutations in their EGFR gene may also not respond to inhibitor drugs for the treatment of cancers because antibodies and small molecule drugs cannot bind to the receptor. This means the receptor is not inhibited, and treatments such as gefitinib and erlotinib may not work.
As some patients will not respond to these treatments the availability of companion diagnostic testing services allows more efficient patient management but can also be used to ensure limited health budgets are used effectively ensuring only patients who will benefit from a particular treatment will receive it.
The launch of the EGFR testing service builds on Lab21’s existing service which offers testing for mutations in the KRAS gene. Both tests were developed by DxS and have full regulatory approval in Europe.
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.
Researchers published today a detailed description of the complete genome of bread wheat, the world's most widely-cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.