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Almac Collaborating with Oxford University to Develop Gene Signature for Ductal Carcinoma Recurrence

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Cancer diagnostics developer Almac Diagnostics said today it is undertaking a collaborative study with Oxford University that will seek to create a gene signature to predict the recurrence of ductal carcinoma in situ, a type of breast cancer.
The study will use the company’s Breast Cancer DSA microarray to help generate a gene expression signature that would be used to identify patients who are likely to experience a recurrence of DCIS.
Isolating patients at such a risk could be used to help doctors and patients make important treatment decisions, the company said. Total mastectomy may be completely curative for some DCIS patients, but may be over-treatment in other cases, so a diagnostic that would separate those groups could help some patients who face less likelihood of recurrence decide to opt for more conservative procedures.
Almac, based in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, said it will use paraffin-embedded samples for the study and will employ its bioinformatics team to “interrogate the resulting data to identify a potential signature.” Almac will conduct the research with Adrian Harris of Cancer Research UK and a professor of medical oncology at the University of Oxford.
In addition to its breast cancer DSA, Almac also markets a Colorectal Cancer DSA and a Lung Cancer DSA. Diagnostic tools for ovarian cancer and for prostate cancer will be launched later in 2008, the company said.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.