Thermo Fisher Expands Hematology Oncology NGS Portfolio

Thermo Fisher Scientific has added a new suite of immune repertoire assays that offers high detection rates of malignant clones, allowing researchers to better assess blood cancers.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has introduced Ion Torrent Oncomine immune repertoire assays, a new suite of next-generation sequencing (NGS) assays that are designed to detect potentially malignant clones of T cells and B cells, key players in immune response. The pan-clonality assays use proprietary Ion AmpliSeq technology to target multiple parts of B- and T-cell immune receptors. This is done using a single reaction with ultra-high sensitivity, which increases the probability of detecting malignant clones and decreasing the time to results, Thermo Fisher announced in a July 19, 2021 press release.

Detection of distinct receptor DNA sequences can inform diagnostic, prognostic, and therapy development studies, which can illuminate the progression of lymphoid cancers, including leukemias, lymphomas, and diseases such as multiple myeloma. Using NGS technology, detection sensitivity can be increased—compared to traditional testing methods, such as flow cytometry or quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

One of the challenges of current NGS-based immune repertoire analysis has been the need to run multiple secondary tests because of the high test failure rates of a typical single NGS assay, the company explained in the press release. The new Oncomine pan-clonality assays overcome this challenge by uniquely targeting multiple parts of the receptor to reduce the need for secondary tests and increase the probability of a single assay detecting a potentially malignant clone.

"Genomic testing can make a significant impact on researching and understanding these [blood] cancers—but we need to bring more testing to in-house laboratories where results can be made available quickly to healthcare professionals," said Garret Hampton, president of clinical next-generation sequencing at Thermo Fisher Scientific, in the press release. "The new Oncomine immune repertoire assays unlock the power of NGS to help researchers rapidly obtain a tremendous amount of insight about a lymphoid cancer sample, including its prevalence and an understanding of how it is evolving."

"With the ability to sequence multiple targets in a single reaction, our team can now get much more information from one assay when compared to single-target NGS tests," said John DeCoteau, medical director, University of Saskatchewan, Advanced Diagnostic Research Laboratory, in the press release. "Using the Oncomine BCR Pan-Clonality Assay, we were able to achieve a positive clonality detection rate of 93 percent in a cohort of multiple myeloma samples, without the need for secondary testing. That provides a remarkable improvement for laboratory efficiency and allows us to get results faster."

Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific