Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New method provides fast, accurate, low cost analysis of BRCA gene mutations in breast cancer

Next generation sequencing approach reported in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics

Individuals with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a significantly higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Families at risk have been seeking genetic testing and counseling based on their mutation carrier status, but the standard method of direct sequencing is labor-intensive, costly, and it only targets a part of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

A group of Canadian scientists has developed a new sequencing approach to provide a more effective method of BRCA1/2 mutational analysis. Their work is published in the September issue of The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

"A comprehensive understanding of BRCA1/2 genotypes and the associated tumor phenotypes is needed to establish targeted therapies," notes lead investigator Hilmi Ozcelik, PhD, of the Fred A. Litwin Centre for Cancer Genetics, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. "Recent studies have suggested that certain chemical inhibitors are effective for the treatment of breast cancer in patients with BRCA1/2 mutations. Therefore, availability of new, affordable, and comprehensive technologies to screen for these mutations will be critical to identify patient-candidates for targeted therapies."

The investigators used a technique called long range PCR to generate amplified BRCA1/2 fragments, known as amplicons, from the DNA of 12 familial breast cancer patients. The amplicons were screened using deep sequencing, also known as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which allows for the simultaneous screening of millions of DNA molecules, thereby dramatically increasing speed and throughput. While conventional screening methods target only the exons of BRCA1/2, deep sequencing can screen the entire genomic region, including introns and untranslated regions. The specimens had been previously analyzed using conventional methods, allowing for a comparison of results.

In addition to identifying one genetic variant that was missed due to human error, the new method successfully identified all of the expected BRCA1/2 variants. They identified both exonic and exon/intron boundary variants. The test was done at a very low cost, and with a turnaround time of 12 days. "One of the key advantages of workflow of long-range PCR is the ability to visually detect large genomic duplications, deletions, and insertions," notes Dr. Ozcelik. "When combined with next generation sequencing, long range PCR can be a powerful tool in the detection of BRCA variants in the clinical setting. Our method confirmed the presence of variants with very high accuracy, and without false-positive results."

Long-range PCR and next generation sequencing identified a wide range of intronic BRCA1/2 variants, both commonly occurring and rare, that individually or in combination may impact BRCA1/2 function. Dr. Ozcelik notes that despite a small sample size, the data shows great variability in the number, type, and frequency of variants that can be identified from familial breast cancer patients.

"Our challenge now is to establish analytical methods that systematically investigate this more comprehensive data in order to provide better risk information for clinical management of the disease," says Dr. Ozcelik. "Given the extensive level of genetic information acquired from each patient, profiles can be constructed in breast cancer patients compared to population controls to produce a more effective means of generating BRCA1/2-associated risk to the individuals and their families.

David Sampson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>