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Singapore General Hospital, Thermo Fisher Collaborate on Asian Cancer Genetics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and Thermo Fisher Scientific have announced a collaborative partnership that aims to identify cancer genetic mutations linked to Asian populations.

The collaboration plans to use Thermo Fisher's Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform to analyze retrospective samples from cancer patients with Asian ancestry. The goal is to identify mutational profiles and their differences from existing data of reference populations, which is primarily based on data collected from individuals of Caucasian ancestry.

"Investigating the differences in cancer gene mutations among different populations is an essential factor in advancing healthcare in a multiracial and multicultural society," said Tan Puay Hoon, head of the department of pathology at SGH, in a statement.

The analysis will occur in multiple phases. During the first phase of the project, researchers at SGH will perform a validation study using the Ion PGM platform and the Oncomine Comprehensive Assay. Next, the researchers will move to NGS-based prospective data analysis of multiple cancers by using formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues and, potentially, other types of clinical samples.

"This collaboration with Singapore General Hospital underscores our sustained commitment to serve our global customers in their respective oncology research and clinical communities," said Mike Nolan, vice president and general manager of oncology for Thermo Fisher, in a statement.

The research being conducted in the collaboration is part of POLARIS@SingHealth, a collaboration between by A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth). The initiative aims to use cutting-edge omics technologies and translate the results for disease diagnosis and treatment in Singapore in the future.