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NanoString Technologies introduces PanCancer gene expression panel for multiplexed pathway analysis

NanoString Technologies has announced the launch of the nCounter PanCancer Pathways Panel, a highly-multiplexed, digital gene expression assay that offers a unique way for translational researchers to investigate cancer biology across all major cancer pathways.

The company made the announcement at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in San Diego.

From a single tube, the PanCancer Pathways Panel simultaneously analyzes of all of the key cancer pathways: PI3K, STAT, MAPK, TGFß, Notch, Hedgehog, Wnt, Apoptosis, Cell Cycle, RAS, Chromatin Modification, Transcriptional Regulation and DNA Damage Control.

Processing samples on the nCounter Analysis System takes just 15 minutes of hands-on time and generates highly reproducible data, even from challenging Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) samples, representing a transformative solution for studying cancer.

The 770 genes included in the PanCancer Pathways Panel were selected using a biology-guided, data-driven methodology that provides high confidence that the gene variance within each cancer pathway was captured.

Each of the canonical cancer pathways was mapped to publicly available data sources such as Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), Reactome and the Gene Ontology (GO) databases. Then, leveraging data generated through The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the collective work of decades of cancer research, each pathway gene and driver gene was scored and ranked based on its biological relevance to cancer.

The highest ranked and most commonly studied genes in cancer research were included in the PanCancer Pathways Panel.

NanoString Technologies research and development senior vice president Dr Joseph Beechem noted that the nCounter PanCancer Pathways Panel allows individual laboratories to rapidly process samples and digitally quantitate the deregulation of all major cancer signaling pathways.

"In this way, researchers can focus on the functional consequences of genomic variation in cancer, potentially accelerating the fundamental understanding of cancer biology and discovery of biomarkers that may be key for future assay development," Dr Beechem added.

The PanCancer Pathways Panel is designed for use on the nCounter Analysis System, a highly automated and easy-to-use instrument platform that utilizes a novel digital barcoding chemistry to deliver high precision multiplexed assays.

NanoString’s nCounter technology uses color-coded molecular barcodes that can hybridize directly to many different types of target molecules. All nCounter gene expression assays are enzyme-free and capable of generating high-quality results from challenging sample types, including those from FFPE tissue.

The PanCancer Pathways Panel is for research use only.