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Uppsala University Hospital evaluates diagnostics platform

The Molecular Pathology unit at the Department of Pathology, Uppsala University Hospital, is evaluating the new PyroMark Q24TM to implement the Pyrosequencing® technology in cancer diagnostics.

Several novel drugs against the growth hormone receptor EGFR have been recently approved for the treatment of advanced colorectal and lung cancer. The efficacy of all of these drugs is strongly connected to the mutation status of the gene k-ras.

Many studies give evidence that patients with k-ras mutation do not response to EGFR-inhibitor treatment; in contrast patients without mutation are much more likely to benefit significantly from this therapy in these often fatal cancer forms.

Biotage provides an established assay for the determination of this clinical relevant mutation. The assay determines contiguous, multi-variable mutations at codons 12 and 13 of the K-ras gene, as well as rare mutations in codon 61. Initial focus of the molecular pathology group is to test the k-ras assay on the new PyroMarkTMQ24 platform for clinical cancer diagnostics.

Dr Patrick Micke from the Department of Pathology stresses the clinical importance to implement robust and sensitive molecular analyses in cancer diagnostics. “We have had good experience with the PyroMark system within a previous clinical research project. Therefore we were interested in extending the collaboration into clinical practice.

“As a result we are able to provide the mutation analysis already today for clinicians. In the next month we will carefully test the system and, in cooperation with other pathology centers, compare it to other methods.”