ASH 2014 interview with Dr Richard Stone discussing Rapid Heme Panel

New Rapid Heme Panel Screens 95 Gene Mutations for Blood Cancers

First in ASH 2014 Series

by David Wallace

Dr Richard Stone, Director of the Adult Leukemia Program at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, sheds some light on the newly developed Rapid Heme Panel.

Summary of Key Points

  • Rapidly assess genetic abnormalities in patients with hematologic malignancies
  • Aluminum based sequencing platform using a patient’s blood or bone marrow and within a few days get the answer as to whether any of the 95 gene panel have known mutations
  • Can screen for JAK2V617F, CALR and other mutations in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs)
  • Thoroughness and speed of results set it apart from other tests presently
  • A diagnosis and treatment plan can begin without a bone marrow biopsy (BMB), although a BMB is good to rule out other “entities” such as Myelofibrosis or AML
  • At any stage of progression the Rapid Heme Panel would be repeated to look at genetic changes
  • Detailed information includes the “Allele Frequency“, the measure of allele frequency (AF) is under the research category now
  • Whether lowering allele frequency is associated with a better outcome has not been clearly proven, although its association is suggested
  • The test will be widely replicated, the technology is new, but not licensed to Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Presently samples are sent to a commercial lab, some do allele frequency and some do not, for the same cost to the patient, you get 95 genes screened including AF

Click here to view the article – New test developed at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center speeds treatment decisions for blood cancer patients

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