New sequencing technology can be applied in routine diagnostics of chronic lymphocytic leukemia


Using DNA sequencing it is today possible to predict prognosis and treatment response for patients with the most common leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia. New results from IGP show that next generation sequencing technology can provide as reliable results as previously used methods, if not better. The new technology could therefore be implemented in clinical practise for prognostic purposes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

DNA sequencing for diagnostic purposes is used to identify mutations that are associated with different diseases. The traditional sequencing method gives reliable results but it has a limited throughput and is difficult to scale up for analysing many samples. With the next generation sequencing (NGS) technology a large number of genes, from many patients, can be studied simultaneously. However, for NGS technology to be integrated in routine clinical practise the method has to be sufficiently accurate and highly robust and reproducible.

For chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) there are several mutations in specific genes that are associated with a more aggressive disease and poor response to therapy. In the present study the researchers have used NGS to sequence a panel of such genes, and compared the results with traditional sequencing.

“We could show that the sensitivity and specificity of NGS for the CLL specific genes was at least as good as that of traditional sequencing. It is therefore conceivably that NGS could be implemented into clinical diagnostics and eventually it could replace present sequencing methods”, says Viktor Ljungström, MD and PhD student at IGP, who has participated in the study.

The results have recently been published on-line in the journal Haematologica.

More information:
Article in Haematologica
Viktor Ljungström’s research in Richard Rosenquist Brandell’s group