Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

MAR15 2015

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) is the world's most widely read biotech publication. It provides the R&D community with critical information on the tools, technologies, and trends that drive the biotech industry.

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NGS Propels Personalized Oncology Single Cell Is No Longer a Limit Flow cytometry advocates include the Southeast Flow Cytometry Interest Group (SEFCIG), an organization associated with the International Society for the Advance- ment of Cytometry. SEFCIG is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of techniques and applications of fow cy- tometry in all relevant scientifc disciplines. SEFCIG is particularly interested in sup- porting educational and networking efforts for scientists that use fow cytometry. For example, the organization recently held its annual meeting in Atlanta to bring to- gether scientists from 10 southeastern states and beyond. Below is a review of a few key presentations from the meeting highlighting exciting advances in science enabled by fow cytometry. "Stem cells from many types of cancer are intrinsically capable of forming multi- cellular organoids (tumorspheres or spher- oids) when grown in vitro," said Peter Geck, M.D., a research assistant professor in the department of integrative physiology and pathobiology at Tufts University. "We thought that a similar process of forming spheroids might also take place in vivo." Dr. Geck's team developed an elegant methodology for iden- tifying cellular spheroids see page 10 The Bio-Rad S3 cell sorter is an automated benchtop instrument featuring either one or two lasers and up to four fuorescence detectors plus forward- and side-scatter detectors. The S3 cell sorter uses ProDrop technology for automated drop delay calculation and droplet break- of monitoring. NGS is already established as a research plat- form, and it is rapidly gaining acceptance as a clinical platform—at least as far as technical and scientifc matters are concerned. Administratively and practically, however, NGS still faces barriers to adoption as a clinical tool. These include regula- tion, incorporation in clinical guidelines (NCCN, ASCO, etc.), reimbursement, and physician and patient education. Accordingly, if NGS is to be fully embraced by the clinic, and if the poten- tial for personalized oncology Lisa Heiden Oncology has risen to the forefront of genomic profling, which is being used to identify actionable driver mutations and other markers. These markers can help clinicians design therapies and monitor patient responses, and they may be revealed by means of next-generation sequencing (NGS), a catch-all term describing massive parallel sequencing technologies generating gigabases of data. Kate Marusina, Ph.D. Flow cytometry, a technology that takes measurements at the single-cell level, can assess phenotypic and functional parameters across diverse cell types and tissues. As this tech- nology develops, many questions that seem diffcult or even impossible to address may soon be posed and answered. see page 30 TO O L S T E C H N O LO G I E S T E C H N I Q U E S March 15, 2015 Sticky Ends... Judging a Man by His Fingers 4 Glycosylation: The Key to Quality 20 Despite Big Pharma Retreat, R&D Spending Advances 6 Single-Use Chromatography 26 A Dynamic View of Gene Expression 16 Trovagene's Next Generation Sampling SM technology can be used to interrogate an ultra-short DNA sequence (~30 bp), yielding data that can show how mutations react to therapy over time. As tumor cells die through treatment or natural processes, small fragments of DNA are released into the blood and the urine. Measuring this circulating tumor DNA ofers a new way to track cancer- related gene mutations at the molecular level.

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