Nanostring Technologies has released a multiplexed assay that is designed to enable the simple and cost-effective analysis of fusion genes linked to leukaemia.
The Ncounter Leukemia Fusion Gene Panel is expected to help cancer researchers to characterise these genetic abnormalities.
The new tool covers 25 specific isoforms from seven fusion gene families associated with three types of leukaemia: acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and acute lymphocytic (lymphoblastic) leukaemia (ALL).
The multiplexed assay can be performed at a fraction of the cost associated with traditional analysis methods such as fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH), karyotyping or polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Since the assay is compatible with a variety of specimens, including archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, it requires less hands-on time and technical expertise than other available analysis methods.
An early-access customer for the new panel, Mohamed E Salama, managing director and assistant medical director of the Hematopathology Laboratory at Arup Laboratories and an associate professor of pathology at the Utah School of Medicine, said: 'We are very impressed with the performance of the Ncounter Leukemia Fusion Gene Panel, particularly its linearity and reproducibility.
'The ability to analyse paraffin-embedded samples is a huge advantage for translational cancer research, as is the fact that no enzymatic steps or amplification are required,' he added.
FFPE samples are the most common form of archived tumour specimens, and it is estimated that 400 million samples are stored in tissue banks worldwide.
The Ncounter Leukemia Fusion Gene Panel enables researchers to study these archived samples in great detail using a simple platform.
'The assay measures 25 fusion gene transcripts and the expression levels of 23 leukaemia-associated mRNAs to provide an extensive molecular profile of each sample,' said Barney Saunders, chief commercial officer of Nanostring Technologies.
The Ncounter Analysis System is a fully automated digital detection and counting system said to have a very simple workflow.
The assay kits contain all of the reagents and consumables required to conduct an experiment.
Minimal sample input requirements and compatibility with a variety of sample types extend the utility of the platform.
In addition to gene expression assays, assays for copy-number variation and miRNA analysis are also available from Nanostring.
The Ncounter Analysis System and the Ncounter Leukemia Fusion Gene Panel are currently available for research use only.