Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and Thermo Fisher Scientific have collaborated to develop a next-generation sequencing (NGS) based panel for paediatric cancer research.

The NGS panel is a targeted DNA and RNA sequencing-based research gene panel, which will use Thermo Fisher’s Ion Torrent NGS platform and Ion AmpliSeq technology to analyse and promote an understanding of pathogenesis and a potential treatment of paediatric cancer patients.

The system is claimed to be CHLA’s first NGS panel to target biomarkers associated with childhood cancers.

"We anticipate the paediatric panel to be of great value to clinical researchers dedicated to improving outcomes in childhood cancer."

Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at CHLA director Dr Alan Wayne said: "We anticipate the paediatric 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 personalised cancer treatment."

Wayne stated the use of molecular genetics to firmly establish the diagnosis, including the specific biologic subtype, can help to determine the most appropriate therapy for children with newly diagnosed or relapsed malignancies.

The gene panel is said to detect DNA mutations, gene amplifications and the expression of more than a thousand specific gene fusion variants, representing more than a hundred tumour-specific gene translocations common to pediatric malignancies.

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The panel requires 10ng of DNA and RNA from fixed, fresh, or frozen tumour tissue, and includes all somatic genetic alterations identified for childhood cancer to date.

Image: A representation of the gene panel. Photo: courtesy of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles / Shutterstock.