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Children's Oncology Group to Use Helicos Sequencing Tech for Sarcoma Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Children’s Oncology Group will use Helicos’ single-molecule sequencing technology to study genomic variation within sarcoma, a bone or soft tissue cancer that generally occurs in children and young adults, the company said today.
The COG study, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute and the US Department of Defense, will use Helicos’ True Single Molecule Sequencing to analyze bone marrow and tumor cell line samples taken from a Ewing’s sarcoma biopsy and the metastasis from the same patient that was taken after two cycles of chemotherapy.
The COG researchers will measure DNA sequence, methylation state, and mRNA expression levels of normal, primary, and metastatic cell states, the company said.
Gaining more knowledge about molecular occurrences in metastatic tumors “is critically important to identify new potential therapeutic targets and further improve patient outcomes,” Helicos said.
By comparing genomic DNA sequence and RNA expression between the normal tissue, the primary tumor, and metastasis, the company hopes the scientists will discover structural and functional genomic changes linked to clinical aggressiveness and treatment resistance.
The work will be led by George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Professor and COG Chairman Greg Reaman, and by Timothy Triche, who is chair of pathology at the Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, and vice chair of translational research at COG.
"We hope to exploit the next-generation capability of Helicos technology to identify rare mutations, polymorphisms, copy number variants, true whole-genome RNA transcriptional activity, and global methylation patterns to identify structural and functional alterations associated with aggressive and treatment-resistant childhood cancer," Triche said in a statement.