Genomics and molecular diagnostics company NuProbe has introduced its only liquid biopsy panel, VarMap Pan-Cancer NGS Panel, which can enrich, detect, and quantitate more than 6,500 mutations and indels in 61 clinically relevant genes.

It uses the quantitative blocker displacement amplification (QBDA) technology and can be used on cfDNA samples for identifying mutations down to 0.1% variant allele frequency (VAF) using only one million NGS reads.

In addition, the panel can be applied to FFPE tumour samples or other cellular samples for identifying minimum residual disease (MRD), detecting mutations down to 0.01% VAF.

The ultra-sensitive assay provides a cost-effective way of monitoring the post-therapy response.

NuProbe co-founder and Innovation head David Zhang said: “The QBDA technology reduces the NGS sequencing depth needed for rare mutation detection by a factor of 100.

“This allows the VarMap Pan-Cancer NGS Panel to accurately analyse cfDNA mutations using only one million reads per sample, enabling liquid biopsy analysis on instruments like the MiSeq and MiniSeq.

“Simultaneously, by increasing to sequencing to 20 million reads per sample, the panel is able to detect single-base mutations down to 0.01% VAF, enabling more sensitive detection of MRD.”

The company noted that the panel covers hotspot regions of 61 oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes highly recurrent and mutated across various types of cancer. It also covers more than 6,500 mutations and indels listed in the COSMIC, TCGA, and OncoKB databases.

For the panel, the advised sample requirements are 20ng of cfDNA or 50ng of FFPE DNA for the standard process. While for MRD, identifying down to 0.01% VAF, requires 1µg of gDNA.

Last March, NuProbe and Qiagen signed a collaboration agreement to develop next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based cancer diagnostic tests for non-invasive liquid biopsy.