This online seminar shares examples of a study being carried out by Transgenomic and MD Anderson that demonstrates the benefits of using circulating free DNA as a surrogate for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissue. We will demonstrate how combining a PCR technique known as ICP with the analysis of cfDNA can dramatically improve the detection, treatment, and monitoring of cancer patients in the future and potentially replace tissue biopsies.
While circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has been known for more than 60 years, the use of cfDNA as a molecular diagnostic tool — or so-called “blood biopsy” — has only recently been exploited for use in cancer treatment and monitoring. cfDNA provides a unique window into a cancer patient’s molecular landscape, which, unlike the static sampling of DNA from an FFPE tumor, is dynamic. The dynamic nature of cfDNA provides real time mutational analysis of primary and metastatic tumors for determining treatment options for patients as well as for the monitoring of treatment effectiveness and disease reoccurrence. However, the challenge for this analysis is the low concentration of cfDNA found in a patient’s plasma or serum and the potentially low level of mutations in this low concentration of cfDNA.
Transgenomic has developed and optimized the technique known as ICP (Improved and Complete Enrichment COamplification at Lower Denaturation PCR) for enriched amplification of mutant DNA. The enrichment is due to the differences in denaturation temperatures between mutant DNA duplexes and normal “wild-type” DNA duplexes. Transgenomic believes the pairing of ICP with cfDNA provides oncologists with a tool to detect cancers earlier and more accurately, allowing personalized targeted drug therapy and treatment monitoring, and resulting in the best possible outcome for patients.
The use of ICP coupled with Sanger sequencing shows greater than 400-fold enrichment for the detection of mutations and is a cost-effective assay when interrogating cfDNA for a small number of mutations. Furthermore, ICP can now be multiplexed prior to mutation characterization on next-generation sequencing platforms. This has the potential to monitor greater than 600 mutations from the same sample of cfDNA. This webinar will demonstrate how cfDNA + ICP + NGS provides the sensitivity required to make the "blood biopsy" the methodology of choice for cancer patient care decisions, monitoring and surveillance.
Katherine Richardson, Vice President of Research & Development, Transgenomic
Dr. Richardson holds an SB degree in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology from Iowa State University. Prior to joining Transgenomic, she worked for eight years as a scientist with OSI Pharmaceuticals, where she specialized in molecular biology research and development in the area of oncology. Previously Dr. Richardson was with Eli Lilly and Company for nine years as a senior toxicologist specializing in genetic toxicology and molecular carcinogenesis. At Eli Lilly, Dr. Richardson was part of the group that identified the link between the BRCA-1 gene and hereditary breast cancer.
Filip Janku, Assistant Professor, Investigative Cancer Therapeutics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Janku holds an MD and a PhD from Charles University Prague. His research interests include oncogenic mutations, next-generation sequencing, the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, autophagy, and therapeutic targets and molecular aberrations in histiocytic disorders.