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For optimal treatment in cancerology, clinicians need specific, precise, sensitive methods to quantify treatment response, monitor residual disease and detect early recurrence in patients. Residual disease monitoring has become common practice in many haematological cancers (e.g. leukaemia), meaning decisions on personalised treatment can be taken. All this has been possible because of the presence of recurrent somatic genomic rearrangements in cancers (like the gene BCR-ABL). These recurrent rearrangements mean blood tests can be developed and used to monitor tumour DNA in the bloodstream.
Approaches like these haven’t yet been developed for solid epithelial tumours because these don't have recurrent genomic rearrangements as haematological cancers do. However, all these tumour genomes are characterised by specific rearrangements which can be used as personalised biomarkers. Recent studies have shown that this kind of approach to detect rearrangements is now possible due to the decrease in the price of complete human genome sequencing (i.e. the entire genome of tumour cells and normal cells). Different molecular diagnostic approaches showed that the technology was sensitive enough to be able to detect very small quantities of tumour DNA in the blood (mutations and/or rearrangements).
OncoTRACE (RUO) gives a differential analysis of the tumour genome and the normal DNA genome of the patient. There are three steps:
The diagnostic advantages of this new approach are obvious:
OncoTRACE uses a set of cutting edge technologies to discover and validate the choice of biomarkers specific to the tumour of the patient. We either use complete sequencing to see the big differences between the normal and tumour genomes or we search for specific mutations using gene panels or the exome.
For routine blood analysis, we also use different quantification technologies such as RQPCR and digital PCR, depending on the type of specific biomarker discovered and validated.
OncoDNA provide the oncologist with an electronic report giving the progression of tumour biomarker concentration in the blood (as a percentage) via our web portal, OncoVISION, or by pdf.
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Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...