News Summary: CancerSEEK blood test, immune system vs. CRISPR

A brief summary of a few recent news items in cancer research

CancerSEEK blood test detects 8 common cancers

A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University have trialled a blood test, CancerSEEK, that could identify non-metastastic cancers in the ovary, liver, esophagus, pancreas, stomach, colorectal, lung, and breast.

The CancerSEEK test looks for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer and eight proteins that are often released. It could allow for earlier detection of cancers as well as being non-invasive and low-cost.

The test was trialled on over 1000 patients already diagnosed with non-metastatic cancers, and detected cancer with a sensitivity of 69 to 98% (depending on cancer type). The results have been published in the journal ScienceView the abstract here.

EACR Past President Professor Richard Marais was interviewed by the BBC about the significance of the development. Watch a short clip here.

The immune system could thwart some CRISPR gene therapies

The body’s own immune system could thwart some efforts to develop gene therapies based on the trendy genome-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9, according to a study released on 5 January.

The study is a Preprint at bioRxiv: Identification of Pre-Existing Adaptive Immunity to Cas9 Proteins in Humans

Click here to read an in-depth Nature News article explaining the process

Thermo Fisher Scientific and Illumina sign agreement to provide research market broader access to Ion AmpliSeq technology

Thermo Fisher Scientific and Illumina, Inc. have signed a commercial agreement that enables Illumina to sell Thermo Fisher’s  Ion AmpliSeq technology to researchers who conduct scientific studies on Illumina’s next-generation sequencing platforms. Ion AmpliSeq technology is used to capture DNA and RNA from minute amounts of samples for application in multiple areas of research.

The agreement enables Illumina customers to utilize targeted resequencing as a follow-up to larger-scale exome and whole genome discovery studies.

Read the full announcement on Business Wire