Monday, 21 March 2011

Fluidigm access array technology helps identify mutations in leukemia

Fluidigm has announced that MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory ( has used the company's Access Array technology to help it uncover mutations in over 80 percent of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) patients, providing new insights into the molecular heterogeneity of the disease. MLL researchers applied the unique properties of the Fluidigm Access Array System to prepare the samples and barcode the amplicons for next-generation deep-sequencing using 454 sequencing technology.

In a Letter to the Editor entitled "Molecular profiling of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia reveals diverse mutations in >80% of patients with TET2 and EZH2 being of high prognostic relevance" published in the February 22, 2011 issue of Nature LEUKEMIA magazine, researchers found mutations in 81.5 percent of CMML patients providing new insights into the molecular heterogeneity of leukemia. Researchers found that besides alterations in TET2, CBL, ASXL1 and the RAS pathway, EZH2 is targeted by various types of frameshift and point mutations. EZH2 mutations constitute a novel poor prognostic risk group and, moreover, had the strongest clinical impact of all markers analyzed thus far. Therefore, researchers suggest that EZH2 mutational status should be taken into account in future clinical studies of CMML.

"Fluidigm's Access Array System was used to prepare the samples into a total of 1782 bar-coded amplicons in a fast, easy process. Being able to automate this type of procedure with Fluidigm's microfluidic technology provides researchers with the ability to make large, in-depth studies possible, practical and affordable," said Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm president and CEO. "We're excited and gratified that Fluidigm technology could help MLL with their discovery and hope it can lead to new ways to understand and treat leukemia."