Swiss-based Roche has introduced the GS GType TET2/CBL/KRAS and the GS GType RUNX1 Primer Sets for comprehensive genetic variation detection in leukaemia samples, using its 454 GS Junior and GS FLX Systems.

Co-developed and tested at the MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory in Munich, Germany, the new sequencing assays include primer plates, protocols and dedicated analysis software.

The sequence-based assays provide a new solution for cancer researchers investigating the human TET2, CBL, KRAS and RUNX1 genes, which have been found to be linked to developmental defects, disease progression and residual disease in a variety of leukaemia-types and myeloid malignancies.

Using the GS GType TET2/CBL/KRAS and the GS GType RUNX1 Primer Sets with 454 sequencing systems, researchers can identify genetic variations with sensitivity compared to traditional Sanger capillary sequencing approaches.

Thomas Schinecker, Roche 454 Life Sciences president, said blood cancers consist of widely varying subtypes which can be difficult to characterise using traditional approaches.

"We are pleased to offer a solution that leverages the strengths of the GS FLX and GS Junior System to deliver long, high-quality sequencing reads and enables better characterisation of genetic variations in leukaemia samples," Schinecker added.

Blood cancers such as leukaemia and other myeloproliferative disorders cause rapid, abnormal growth of blood cells and are known to consist of a broad spectrum of subtypes. Roche intends to continue to expand the menu of assays with future developments in areas of virology, oncology and immunology.

The company’s personalised healthcare strategy aims to offer therapies and diagnostic tools which provide improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients.