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Life Technologies, UCSD Team on Leukemia Studies

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of California at San Diego has teamed up with Life Technologies in a National Institutes of Health-funded study that seeks to find biomarkers for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the partners said today.

UCSD's Moores Cancer Center will use Life Technologies' SOLiD 4 sequencer in a survey of the whole transcriptomes of 96 CLL tumor samples. The researchers, from both the university and Life Tech, will study the expression profiles of the tumor samples in order to learn about the biological pathways and molecular mechanisms that regulate cell-fate decision, development, and disease progression.

They plan to analyze that data to define biomarkers that could be used to stratify patients into two risk groups: patients who are likely to progress in the near future and patients who are not likely to progress. Eventually, UCSD wants to apply that knowledge in clinical trials that could evaluate new forms of treatment.

"We anticipate the accuracy of SOLiD 4 and its ability to analyze whole transcriptomes will help us identify longitudinal biomarkers, which can signal development of progressive disease after a variable inactive or benign period of time," Kelly Frazer, founding chief of the new Division of Genome Information Sciences for the Department of Pediatrics at the UCSD School of Medicine, said in a statement.

"Information generated from this research may lead to future studies and contribute to the development of new drug products with the intent to one day soon be able to treat these cancers in a more targeted approach," added John Miller, president of Life Technologies' Genetic Systems Division.

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