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Thermo Fisher, CHLA Team on Pediatric Cancer NGS Panel

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Thermo Fisher Scientific announced today that they will partner to develop a next-generation sequencing-based gene panel for pediatric cancer research.

The assay, a targeted DNA and RNA sequencing-based gene panel, would target biomarkers — mutations, amplifications, and gene expression of more than 1,000 gene fusion variants — associated with childhood cancers. The panel will also include almost all somatic genetic alterations identified in the literature to date as having an association with pediatric cancers.

The panel will use Thermo's Ion Torrent NGS platform and Ion AmpliSeq technology, which requires as little as 10 nanograms of DNA and RNA from fixed, fresh, or frozen tumor samples. The results would be used to help researchers better understand pathogenesis and could lead to the development of new therapies, the partners said in a statement.

CHLA will contribute the expertise of a team of pathologists and lab researchers from its Center for Personalized Medicine, and clinicians and pediatric cancer investigators at its Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases.

"We anticipate the pediatric panel to be of great value to clinical researchers dedicated to improving outcomes in childhood cancer, providing a tool with the potential to further advance personalized cancer treatment," Alan Wayne, director of the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases, said in a statement. "Such personalized cancer care is of considerable benefit to patients and practitioners as we work to develop genomically targeted therapies."