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City of Hope to Use Helicos Sequencing Tech for Cancer Study

This article has been updated to include a comment from City of Hope.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers at the City of Hope research and treatment center in Duarte, Calif., will use Helicos BioSciences’ single-molecule sequencing technology to evaluate known cancer-associated gene variants and potentially discover new mutations within those genes, Helicos said today.
Helicos said that its True Single Molecule Sequencing technology enables researchers to analyze billions of single molecules simultaneously, allowing direct measurement of “the large sample numbers required to assess the frequency of gene variants within a population of individuals or within a tumor.”
Helicos declined to comment further on the collaboration. A City of Hope spokesperson said that Helicos is conducting the review of the technology for the specified application.
One of City of Hope’s goals of the collaboration will be to develop molecular diagnostics based on its findings, according to the partners.
“Our potential to personalize the treatment of cancer will be directly dependent on our ability to understand the genetic variation among individual patients as well as the genetic heterogeneity of their tumor genomes,” Steve Sommer, director of the department of molecular genetics and director of the department of molecular diagnosis at City of Hope, said in a statement.
"The primary goal of this collaboration is demonstrating the technology's ability to perform assays that may have clinical utility as in the field of cancer," Brian Clark, City of Hope's director for the office of technology licensing, told GenomeWeb Daily News via e-mail. "After the data from the collaboration is compiled, we look forward to other studies that may develop the next generation of clinical diagnostics."
Further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

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