New Technique Identifies 10 Times More DNA Variations Associated with Prostate Cancer

New Technique Identifies 10 Times More DNA Variations Associated with Prostate Cancer

A new approach to detecting DNA variations that may be associated with prostate cancer has found 10 times as many variations as the most common approach, according to a study.

The research, “Next-Generation Mapping Reveals Novel Large Genomic Rearrangements In Prostate Cancer,” was published in Oncotarget.

Complex rearrangements of structures in DNA can trigger the development of prostate cancer, research has shown. Detecting the changes can help doctors design better therapies for their patients.

Next-generation mapping (NGM) is a new technology that allows scientists to analyze larger chunks of DNA than the older approach of next-generation sequencing (NGS). NGM has a wider scope because NGS sequences DNA bit by bit looking for single mutations.

Researchers compared the two techniques’ ability to detect DNA changes that lead to prostate cancer. They used the Bionano’s Irys System to perform NGM, and the Illumina X10 platform to perform NGS.

NGM identified 10 times more large structural variations in DNA associated with prostate cancer than NGS.

Half of the structural variations that NGM revealed were within or near genes associated with prostate cancer onset. Only half of 1 percent of the variations that NGS detected were in or near such genes.

Researchers validated 94 percent of the structural variations with laboratory experiments.

“These findings validate the importance of Bionano’s NGM and demonstrate that NGS is not enough to identify all genome variations that may cause disease in patients,” Vanessa Hayes, the senior author of the study, said in a news release. “This study has generated promising results that help in understanding previously undetected prostate cancer genomic driver events and progression. We expect next-generation mapping to be critical in obtaining a more complete clinical picture of cancer patients at the Garvan Institute.”

“We are excited by these data obtained for complex human genomic rearrangements in prostate cancer,” said Erik Holmlin, PhD, CEO of Bionano Genomics. “Cancer is one of the most studied diseases, yet there is an urgent need to find more relevant genomic information that can aid in the development of effective therapies and strategies for precise patient management. With the use of our NGM technique in cancer and other clinical translational studies, researchers can discover the large [structural variations] that would be missed with NGS alone.”