Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

High Tech

Premium

Watch out, flow cytometry — it's high-throughput sequencing's turn to shine. According to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, DNA sequencing-based technology is better able to spot residual disease in leukemia patients who have undergone treatment with chemotherapy than flow cytometry, reports Xconomy's Luke Timmerman. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and Adaptive Biotechnologies — a Hutch spin-off company — teamed up to test Adaptive's ImmunoSEQ — technology that was built to detect mutated T-cells and B-cells that lead to leukemia or lymphoma. Until now, researchers have used flow cytometry to detect "minimal residual disease" in patients who had undergone chemotherapy, in order to determine how much cancer was left and what the prognosis might be, Timmerman says. In the study of 43 leukemia patients, ImmunoSEQ was able to detect residual disease in 22 patients, compared to flow cytometry which detected residual cancer in 12 patients.

"[Adaptive] uses San Diego-based Illumina's high-speed HiSeq DNA sequencing instruments, and it has custom chemical reagents and software that enable researchers to look specifically at DNA sequences of these variable T and B cells," Timmerman says. "Adaptive is hopeful that today's findings will help open that door to the diagnostic world. … Cost and turnaround time for the Adaptive test are key questions that will go a long way toward determining whether its technology makes it into a new standard of care."

The Scan

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.

Lupus Heterogeneity Highlighted With Single-Cell Transcriptomes

Using single-cell RNA sequencing, researchers in Nature Communications tracked down immune and non-immune cell differences between discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Rare Disease Clues Gleaned From Mobile Element Insertions in Exome Sequences

With an approach called MELT, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics uncovered mobile element insertions in exomes from 3,232 individuals with or without developmental or neurological abnormalities.

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.