CWRU Researchers Use Fluidigm Nanofluidic Digital PCR Array to Quantify Mutations in Lung Cancer Gene

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and Fluidigm have published a paper demonstrating how Fluidigm’s nanofluidic digital PCR platform can detect and quantify EGFR mutations at the single-molecule level from lung tumors, including formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples.

The method may help provide deeper insight into the specific roles of clinically relevant mutations during different stages of lung tumor progression, and may be useful in predicting the clinical response to EGFR-targeted inhibitors, according to the study.

In addition, the method may be able to supplement current laboratory techniques for oncogene detection and analysis, such as direct DNA sequencing, especially in samples with extremely low levels of genetic material, the researchers said.

The study, published online this month in Clinical Chemistry, sprung from a collaboration between Fluidigm and the laboratory of Patrick Ma, an assistant professor of hematology/oncology at the CWRU School of Medicine and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In an e-mail to PCR Insider this week, Ma said that Fluidigm’s digital array technology using digital PCR was a good fit for his group’s research on low-abundance mutated alleles in lung tumors, and that it was “a novel platform to quantify both the EGFR relative gene copy number and oncogenic mutated alleles on a single platform assay.”

Read more at CWRUmedicine.org

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