Home >> Tag Archives: Genomics (see also Pharmacogenomics) —

Tag Archives: Genomics (see also Pharmacogenomics) —

Time now for tumor mutational burden?

November 2018—Like a piece of so-called sticky music, cutoff numbers can persist in physicians’ minds outside of any real clinical value and, in the process, leave their laboratory colleagues mildly befuddled (not to mention searching for more useful cutoffs). Such a jingle is creeping into tumor mutational burden. Lauren Ritterhouse, MD, PhD, co-director of the clinical genomics laboratory at the University of Chicago, recalls early conversations about TMB at her institution. Amid discussions about how and when to implement the testing, one colleague announced to all assembled that the cutoff number should be 100.

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Molecular tumor boards: fixture or fad?

October 2014—Along with everything else the genomics revolution has wrought, there’s this: Molecular testing is threatening to turn medicine into an ongoing episode of “Hoarders.” So much information and so many possible uses for it—including, in some cases, none at all. The expansion of molecular testing is also upending the role of the traditional tumor board.

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Virus or bacterium? Gene expression may tell

September 2014—At the 30th Annual Clinical Virology Symposium this spring, Gregory Storch, MD, related a typical case of a febrile child seen in the emergency department. Dr. Storch, a professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine, described a 20-month-old boy with a fever of 40°C, rash, cough, and nasal congestion but no gastrointestinal symptoms. White blood cell count was 7,800/µL. Blood culture was negative and a chest x-ray showed mild peribranchial thickening. Diagnosis, Dr. Storch says, was “viral syndrome.” The patient got a dose of ceftriaxone, which was “reasonable,” in Dr. Storch’s view, in light of the patient’s fever and the presence of bands on the peripheral blood smear.

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NGS to detect oncogenes—sizing panels, reporting results

June 2014—Scientific wonders always abound at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference, and this year’s meeting in February was no exception. Attendees had their first opportunity at a scientific meeting to learn about the newly announced Illumina HiSeq X Ten, a combination of 10 HiSeq X systems, which, Illumina says, can sequence 16 whole human genomes per three-day run at a read depth of 30× and a cost of $1,000 per genome. At the other end of the scale, attendees saw the unveiling of Oxford Nanopore’s MinION, a sequencer the size of a pack of chewing gum.

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microRNAs entice as diagnostic key to multiple diseases

June 2014—In research and development of diagnostics based on the small, non-coding RNAs known as microRNA, the potential clinical applications in cancer were the first to be explored and have hogged the spotlight. But the more light that is shed on micro­RNAs’ mysteries, the more promise microRNA shows as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool in an array of diseases beyond cancer.

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