Friday, August 13, 2010

Triple-negative progression to be studied

According to a joint news release, Life Technologies and the University of California at San Diego Moores Cancer Center will study the sequencing of triple-negative breast cancer in search of successful therapies to fight the disease:

CARLSBAD & LA JOLLA, Calif., Aug 05, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Life Technologies Corporation and the University of California at San Diego Moores Cancer Center today announced a partnership to use SOLiD(TM) 4 genomic analysis technology in a research program to study chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a cancer of the white blood cells. The CLL research is made possible by funding from the National Institutes of Health and will enable scientists to survey the whole transcriptomes of 96 CLL tumor samples for potential biomarkers.

CLL is one of four main types of leukemia, which primarily affects adults averaging 70 years old, and causes a slow increase in the number of white blood cells called B cells in the bone marrow. The cancerous cells spread from the marrow to the blood, and can also affect the lymph nodes and other organs, such as the liver and spleen. CLL eventually causes the bone marrow to fail and weakens the immune system.

A multidisciplinary research team from Life Technologies and UCSD Moores Cancer Center, including physician scientists highly accomplished in clinical research, genomics, and bioinformatics/biostatistics, will approach the research with the goal to identify potential prognostic biomarkers to better understand progression of CLL. Dr. Kelly Frazer, founding chief of the new Division of Genome Information Sciences for the Department of Pediatrics at the UCSD School of Medicine, Dr. Thomas Kipps, Professor of Medicine and Deputy Director of Research Operation, and Dr. Dennis Carson, director of the Moores Cancer Center, lead a team focused on studying the predisposition for diseases starting in childhood but spanning the whole age spectrum, using genomic information.

In the first phase of this research, the team will use the SOLiD 4 System to explore the expression profiles of the 96 tumor samples in an effort to gain greater insight into the biological pathways and molecular mechanisms that regulate cell-fate decision, development and disease progression. By defining biomarkers that could help stratify patients into risk groups (patients that are likely to remain progression-free and patients that are likely to progress in the near future) the research could result in the facilitation of future clinical trials designs to evaluate new forms of treatment.

"The course of CLL is variable and its pathogenesis is poorly understood. While some patients have long-term inactive/pain-free disease prior to progression, others progress rapidly requiring therapy within a relatively short time after diagnosis," said Dr. Kipps.

"We anticipate the accuracy of SOLiD 4 and its ability to analyze whole transcriptomes will help us identify longitudinal biomarkers, which can signal development of progressive disease after a variable inactive or benign period of time," said Dr. Frazer.

The program aims to not only understand cancer progression, but to identify new potential targets for possible clinical trials in support of future targeted therapies in cancer. In addition to CLL, the UCSD Moores Cancer Center research program is currently sequencing triple negative breast tumors, lung tumors and primary central nervous system lymphomas using SOLiD technology in an effort to better understand these cancers.

"Life Technologies is proud to be working in conjunction with UCSD Moores Cancer Center, and supporting their biomarker research of hematological malignancies like CLL," said John L. Miller, President, Genetic Systems Division at Life Technologies. "Information generated from this research may lead to future studies and contribute to the development of new drug products with the intent to one day soon be able to treat these cancers in a more targeted approach."

The SOLiD 4 Sequencing System is one of the most advanced next-generation genomic analysis sequencing systems on the market and is used globally by researchers to better understand the genetic nature of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders. Its throughput, accuracy, speed and flexibility allow researchers to generate up to 100 gigabases of high-quality mappable sequence data needed for the advancement of molecular medicine.

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