Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Mass, recently established a collaborative partnership aimed at identifying cancer-related genetic mutations linked with Asian populations, using Thermo Fisher’s Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing (NGS) system.

The research collaboration will take a phased approach to retrospectively analyzing samples from cancer patients with Asian ancestry, and to identifying their mutational profiles and differences from data about existing reference populations, which are principally drawn from individuals of Caucasian ancestry.

In the first phase of the project, SGH will perform a validation study using Thermo Fisher’s Ion PGM platform and Oncomine comprehensive assay. The project will then move to NGS-based prospective data analysis of multiple cancers, using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues and, potentially, other types of clinical samples. The objective is to realize the highest levels of data acquisition that will lead to new, clinically actionable tests.

“Investigating the differences in cancer gene mutations among different populations is an essential factor in advancing healthcare in a multiracial and multicultural society,” says Tan Puay Hoon, head of the department of pathology at SGH. “This partnership will enable the oncology community to take steps toward realizing better and personalized care in the region.”

The research is part of the polaris@singhealth program funded by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research to enable cutting-edge omics technologies and translate them into future disease diagnostics and treatments. The project is also supported in part by the central research and development division of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

The Ion PGM system and the Oncomine comprehensive assay are for research use only; not for use in diagnostic procedures.

For more information, visit SGH or Thermo Fisher Scientific.