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Use of the Ion Torrent Next Generation Sequencing Platform for Rapid and Accurate Diagnosis of Childhood Cancers

  • Project Leaders: Poul Sorensen
  • Institutions: BC Cancer (Previously BC Cancer Agency (BCCA))
  • Budget: $321004
  • Program/Competition: Proof of Concept
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

Childhood solid malignant tumors often present as soft tissue masses with undifferentiated small round cells under microscopic examination. The primitive features of these tumors often complicate accurate diagnosis, which is critical to assign patients to the most appropriate treatments.

This project aimed to develop a simple and direct test based on next generation sequencing using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (IonT PGM), to more accurately identify multiple known genetic alterations associated with childhood solid tumors.

This group successfully developed the technology to a level that enabled commercialization of the ChildSeq-RNA and ChildDecode assays under the newly incorporated (BC and Federal) Fusion Genomics Corporation.

Fusion Genomics established a “letter of intent” with various commercial groups including: Integrated DNA Technologies, Spiral Genetics & D-Mark BioSciences (Kappa Bio-Sciences). The company has also established a “contracted” relationship with Investigative Drug Program (at the BC Cancer Agency) for GMP manufacturing of its ChildSeq-RNA assay. The company has established a “Collaborative Research Agreement” with Baylor college of Medicine, and is in the process of establishing agreements with, St Paul’s and Women’s & Children Hospitals in Vancouver, BC and an international consortium of cancer hospitals based in Asia. With the Asian partners, Fusion will also be establishing a state of the art bio-bank, to cater to all of Fusion R&D needs.