Cancer specialists at Ohio State University have come up with a way to identify an abnormality in cancer cells, known as fusion genes, in solid tumors.
This way to find these fusion genes is testing known as the OSU-SpARKFuse (Ohio State University-Spanning Actionable RNA Kinase Fusions), an Ohio State release said.
These gene fusions come about when components of two separate genes unite, the release said. These unions could cause genes that direct how cancer develops further in the body.
OSU-SpARKFuse stands out from other assays in that it allows observers to find the two genes forming a union while knowing only one of the genes involved. In other assays, observers needed to know both of the genes involved in the fusion. This ability of OSU-SpARKFuse to work when only one of the genes is known gives scientists the chance to find never-before-found unions, the release said.
“The use of OSU-SpARKFuse in clinical laboratories will help expand the knowledge base of gene fusions in solid tumors, and it could directly affect patient care by detecting therapeutically actionable targets,” Sameek Roychowdhury, assistant professor in Ohio State's division of medical oncology, said in the release.