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Agilent, University of Queensland Partner on Oral Cancer Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies said today that it plans to collaborate with the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research in Brisbane, Australia in an exome sequencing study of oral cancer patients.

The goal of the collaboration is to understand the genomic differences between young and older patients and between progressive and non-progressive lesions. Both young and older patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma as well as young and older patients with oral potentially malignant lesions will be studied.

The researchers will use Agilent's SureSelect Human All Exon V5 target enrichment technology to enrich for the protein coding regions of the DNA, which will be followed by sequencing on Life Technologies' SOLiD 5500 system.

Oral potentially malignant lesions are precursors of many oral squamous cell carcinomas, although the reasons for progression are not well understood.

The goal is to identify potential biomarkers that predict progression as well as potential drug targets and whether oral cancers are genomically different in older patients versus younger patients.

The project will "enable greater understanding of the genetic changes that characterize oral cancers," Russell McInnes, Agilent's general manager for genomics solutions in South Asia Pacific and Korea, said in a statement.

"Our collaboration and support from Agilent will accelerate our work in this important area of clinical research," Camile Farah, associate professor and head of the Oral Oncology Research Program at UQCCR, said in a statement.