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The Vitalité Health Network, in collaboration with the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI), is pleased to announce that the Molecular Diagnostic and Sequencing Laboratory at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre is now equipped with a new, enhanced sequencing panel for the diagnosis of numerous cancers. The new panel, called the Cancer Hotspot v2, is being used alongside the panel in operation at the laboratory since March 2014 in the diagnosis of patients with lung and colon cancers.

Unlike the lung and colon cancer panel, which supports the sequencing of regions of 22 genes specific to these two types of cancers, the Cancer Hotspot Panel v2 offers more comprehensive functionality, supporting screening for mutations in 50 genes that typically mutate in a range of cancers, including melanoma, leukemia and breast cancer.

"This new panel will equip attending physicians to more effectively identify the treatment likely to be most beneficial for individual patients with, for example, skin or ovarian cancers," explained Dr. Nicolas Crapoulet, research scientist at the ACRI. "It can also be used to a limited extent to determine whether someone is at risk for certain cancers."

The ACRI recently also acquired a new system called Ion Chef from Life Technologies which enables the automation and standardization of a large segment of the technical sequencing process, thereby increasing the analysis capacity of the sequencing platform at the Molecular Diagnostic and Sequencing Laboratory.

"The technologists at the Molecular Diagnostic and Sequencing Laboratory already had access to two PGM sequencers enabling them to provide fast, reliable service," stated Dr. Rodney Ouellette, president and scientific director of the ACRI and medical director of the Molecular Diagnostic and Sequencing Laboratory for Vitalité. "The recent addition of an Ion Chef equips them to offer greater reproducibility and standardization while also increasing their capacity in terms of volume of samples analyzed per week."

The Molecular Diagnostic and Sequencing Laboratory is continuously developing and testing new analysis methods with the objective of offering new diagnostic tests and, ultimately, more effective treatment for patients.

"A number of panels are currently undergoing the validation process at our laboratory," said Dr. Ouellette. "For one, we are developing a new panel supporting detection of genes fused during chromosomal rearrangement in patients with lung or colon cancer. We are also currently in the validation phase for a 'genetic diseases' panel we can use to detect mutations that predispose people to certain genetic diseases. Additionally, within the next few months we will be bringing online the Exome panel used to sequence more than 98% of the coding regions of the human genome to assist geneticists and other researchers in identifying the genetic causes of a number of rare conditions."

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Atlantic Cancer Research Institute 
Pavillon Hôtel-Dieu
35, Providence Street
Moncton, NB E1C 8X3 Canada
Tel.: 506-862-7512
Fax.: 506-862-7571

The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute

 (ACRI) is a non-profit organization founded in late 1998 and housed at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. Thanks to its unique expertise, ACRI has become a true centre of excellence in cancer research.


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