Skip to Content
Front Row: Jon Pruessner, Connie Floerchinger, Jon Heusel
Middle Row: Aaron Bossler, Deqin Ma
Back Row: Ramakrishna Sompallae, Natalya Guseva
Starting on October 24, the University of Iowa Department of Pathology implemented a new DNA sequencing test for Cancer Mutation Profiling and Interpretation. This is the first clinically validated massively parallel (‘next generation’) DNA sequencing test for cancer to be offered in Iowa. The assay looks at ‘hot spot’ regions of 50 cancer-related genes (see gene list below), including over 2,800 mutations listed in the catalogue of somatic mutations in cancer database (COSMIC1). The Cancer Mutation Profiling test provides valuable information about the genetic changes acquired by cancer cells—information that may help determine the cancer type, predict the behavior of the cancer (slow or fast-growing, metastatic spread, risk for recurrence or relapse), and predict the potential response to existing and emerging targeted therapies. On the implementation of the Cancer Mutation Profiling test—the first Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) assay validated by the UI Health Care Molecular Pathology Lab, Jon Heusel, MD, PhD, states “This is an important step toward ‘precision medicine’ for patients of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Iowa Health Care system. Bringing NGS technology to the clinical laboratory is emblematic of modern medicine, where we must rapidly integrate information on a massive scale, and then cooperate on the best management plan for each patient, every time. It is humbling—but also exciting.”
The advantages of this next generation DNA sequencing test include the ability to survey 50 common cancer-related genes at once, saving valuable time and considerable costs compared to testing even 5-10 of the genes individually. Further, this test has the ability to see mutations at low levels, allowing assessment of specimens that contain mixtures of cancer and normal cells, as well as clonal heterogeneity within the cancer. Finally, the Cancer Mutation Profiling test may be performed using a very small amount of DNA—even from tissue that has already been formalin-fixed. This significantly expands the number of cases that can benefit from mutational profiling and related molecular testing. More information, better information, rapidly delivered…The Cancer Mutation Profiling and Interpretation Assay from University of Iowa Health Care is the beginning of a new approach in managing cancer. “We are excited to be offering this new technology in the war on cancer. I am proud of our team for their diligence and hard work in bringing this to fruition.” Aaron Bossler, MD, PhD, Molecular Pathology Laboratory Director.
1. COSMIC-Catalogue of somatic mutations in cancer
This test detects mutations from a relatively small amount of input human DNA (10 ng), and may be performed on fresh, frozen or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. The performance of this test has been extensively evaluated by the Molecular Pathology Laboratory. The limit of detection for single nucleotide substitutions is 5%, and 10% for deletions or insertions up to 25 bp. The assay cannot detect larger insertions, deletions, translocations, or other structural or copy number variations. The turn-around-time for this test is 21 days. At this time, certain restrictions on ordering the Cancer Mutation Profiling and Interpretation test in EPIC apply; please contact the Molecular Pathology Laboratory (384-9870), Dr. Aaron Bossler (384-9566) or Dr. Jon Heusel (356-8616) with inquiries.
Cancer Mutation Profiling and
Interpretation AssayList of Targeted Cancer Genes and Associated Hot
*This assay does not provide full-length coverage for the
listed exons; a detailed list of the genomic positions defining each of 207
amplicons is available upon request.