Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide. Globally, there were some 1.82 million new cases and 1.56 million deaths in 2012, representing almost 20% of all cancers. In the US, there is a lifetime risk of developing lung cancer at 8% in men and 6% in women, and although the vast majority (80%-90%) of cases of lung cancer are attributed to long-term exposure tobacco smoke, about 10-15% of cases occur in non-smokers.
In 2009 a group at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific published their research study of the whole-genome sequence of a small cell lung cancer line NCI-H209 using the SOLiD® Next Generation Sequencing Platform where 22,910 somatic substitutions were identified, the vast majority of these mutations occurring outside coding regions. One interesting conclusion from this study was that the researchers were able to determine that the cells that eventually became cancerous acquired on mutation for every 15 cigarettes smoked. (This conclusion was based upon a presumed 50 years of smoking a pack per day.)
Several new tools for researching lung cancer have since been introduced: The Ion AmpliSeq™ RNA Fusion Lung Cancer Research Panel. Designed in collaboration with the OncoNetwork Consortium this panel reflects current research findings that rearranged ALK, RET, ROS1 and the recently characterized NTRK1 genes play a key role in oncogenesis. This research panel targets over 70 fusion transcripts in addition to major fusion gene families, and has a demonstrated sensitivity to 1% using diluted cell-line total RNA. With only a 10ng input RNA requirement and five housekeeping genes as an internal quality control, the key benefit over existing technologies (namely multi-color fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) is in the simplicity of the approach and its corresponding savings in labor.
For analysis of these fusion transcripts, a new version of the online Ion Reporter™ v.4.2 has recently been released, that offers a number of convenient tools.
A product sheet for this fusion panel is available.
Lastly the Ion AmpliSeq™ Colon and Lung Cancer Research Panel v2 has been released for targeted DNA gene panel variant detection, designed against known hotspots and targeted regions for 22 genes associated with colon and lung cancer. In comparison to the first version of this panel, three additional amplicons have been added for the NRAS and ALK gene targets.