According to the World Health Organization, more than 14 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed globally in 2012. Cancer is caused by genetic changes and is actually many different diseases, all characterized by different DNA mutations and cellular transformations.
Over the past decade, scientists have made unprecedented advancements in genomics, the study of genes and how they are expressed in cells. Cancer research continues to grow and expand as more is understood about the human genome. Today, more patients are being treated based on a much better understanding about their specific type of cancer.
Agilent’s array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (aCGH) enables researchers to see detailed genetic chromosomal information. Prior to aCGH, chromosomes could only be analyzed under a microscope at low resolution. Agilent SureSelect and HaloPlex library preparation and target enrichment kits are designed for researchers to capture certain defined areas of interest within the overall genome for further analysis, such as next generation sequencing.
Agilent’s Dako subsidiary offers immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining solutions to help pathologists characterize solid cancer tumors. IHC assays are based on antibodies that have been developed for detection of specific diagnostic biomarkers.
Dako has developed more than 200 antibodies that help doctors make diagnostic and prognostic determinations about suspicious lumps and a wide range of cancerous tissues. The Dako Omnis advanced staining solution is designed for high-throughput of multiple tissue tests.
Patients around the world are also benefitting from more personalized treatments. Using information about a person’s individual disease profile, oncologists can prescribe the therapies most likely to work for that particular patient. Dako’s HercepTest™, for example, helps identify breast cancer patients being considered for treatment with Genetech’s Herceptin®.
Dako’s companion diagnostics (CDx) technologies currently include in situ hybridization (ISH), for the detection of specific DNA changes in breast and gastric cancer; and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), which uses fluorescent probes that bind only to certain parts of the chromosome.
Agilent also provides a comprehensive menu of SureFISH probes, based on its oligo synthesis manufacturing platform, for rapid identification of a wide range of chromosomal aberrations across the genome. These oligo probes are a significant advancement over traditional FISH technology because of their versatility, design flexibility and selectivity.
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