APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Cancer diagnostics and therapy
- Fast, accurate, and affordable
- Improves tumor staging and patient stratification for most cancers
Berkeley Lab researcher Heinz-Ulrich Weier has developed Genetic Barcodes, a fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH)-based assay offering affordable diagnostics for the early detection of breast cancer and other neoplastic diseases by screening a much larger panel of genes or chromosome regions than standard assays. The technology also improves tumor staging and patient stratification for most cancers, including leukemia, melanomas, breast and thyroid cancers, and differentiates them from benign diseases.
The Berkeley Lab technology labels up to 24 genetic targets using specific patterns of 3-color “barcodes”—sequences of differently colored DNA probes that bind or hybridize to genes inside cell nuclei. Labeled gene- or chromosome-specific barcode probes are tailor made to uniquely interrogate multiple genes of interest. Any change in the barcode detected, i.e., pattern or number of overlapping colored signals, indicates a chromosomal structural alteration likely to lead to changes in the expression of the cancer gene targets.
Genetic assays are important tools for early cancer detection or predicting therapy outcome, but most are limited by the time and expense required to screen for multiple cancer genes from multiple, small samples. The Berkeley Lab technology provides a way to detect multiple loci in one test, thus overcoming a major roadblock in clinical analyses.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Bench scale prototype
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Weier, H.-U.G., Mao, J.-H., “Meta-analysis of Aurora Kinase A (AURKA) Expression Data Reveals a Significant Correlation between Increased AURKA Expression and Distant Metastases in Human ER-positive Breast Cancers,” J Data Mining Genomics Proteomics, 2013, 4:127; doi:10.4172/2153-0602.1000127.
Weier, H.-U.G., Ito, Y., Kwan, J., Smida, J., Weier, J.F., Ludwig, H., Lu, C.-M., Lehmann, L., Wang, M., Kassabian, H.J., Zeng, H., O’Brien, B.,“Delineating Chromosomal Breakpoints in Radiation-Induced Papillary Thyroid Cancer,” Genes,2011, 2, 397–419; doi:10.3390/genes2030397.
O’Brien, B., Jossart, G.H., Ito, Y., Greulich-Bode, K.M., Weier, J.F., Munne, S., Clark, O.H., and Weier, H.-U.G, “‘Chromosomal Rainbows’ Detect Oncogenic Rearrangements of Signaling Molecules in Thyroid Tumors,” The Open Cell Signaling Journal, 2010, 2, 13–22.
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REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2897