Posted: June 4, 2015
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) detects numerical and/or structural changes in chromosomes that occur in many types of genetic diseases, including cancer. The test involves permeabilizing cells, adding fluorescent tagged probes that attach to specific chromosomes and visualization of the probe-annealed chromosomes. Results are interpreted either by visual inspection and fluorescence microscopy, or a proprietary image analysis system, to detect patterns of chromosomes. However, the cost-per-test, time to conduct a test and the technical complexity of current FISH protocols have limited its widespread use in diagnostics. In the USA, about 1.4 million new cases of cancer per year are detcted, including >140,00 new blood cancer cases per year. For many of these cancers, an automated FISH test for monitoring tumor burden in response to therapy will result in significant reductions in cost and time.
Researchers at the University of Alberta are developing an automated FISH based diagnostic tool that can detect chromosomal abnormalities in relatively short duration. Reduced probe requirement makes this technology is cost-effective in comparison to conventional FISH. The method is automated and can process upto 10 samples at a time. The rapid detection of chromosomal abnormalities has the potential to significantly improve a physician’s ability to devise treatment startegies for cancers and a variety of genetic conditions..
Speed – Reduces the time to perform FISH.
Reproducibility – Increased level of automation increases reproducibility of running FISH and analyzing results
Cost – Reduced probe use results in cost reduction
2006039 Photo: Automated FISH chip