By Ron Shinkman, Editor, Laboratory Industry Report
San Diego-based Agena Biosciences has released a new testing platform that provides a quick and accurate identification of variations in most non-small cell lung cancers.
The platform, known as the LungFusion panel, performs 13 separate assays in total and focuses on three gene fusions specific to non-small cell lung cancer: ALK, RET, and ROS1. Rearrangements of these genes can provide clinicians with more data as to how the cancer may progress and how it may be treated.
Agena officials tout the assay as an alternative to immunohistochemical panels and FISH testing, both of which they say are more complicated and time consuming and may not always be able to tease out rarer mutations in lung cancer patients.
“Rare events in NSCLC tumor samples can be difficult or laborious to determine through optical genetic analysis techniques. The LungFusion panel is an inexpensive, single-well assay amenable to formalin-fixed tissue and fine needle aspirates which may be of varying quality, allowing NSCLC studies to expand in sample size and confidence level within existing research budgets,” said Marisa Pearce, Agena Bioscience’s senior director of marketing in a press release issued by the company.
Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in the U.S., with 158,000 deaths from the disease estimated to occur this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Another 221,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer this year.