Twist Bioscience, a company that offers high-quality synthetic DNA using its silicon platform, launched its TwistMRD Rapid 500 Panel [1], a custom solution that can be added to a standard next generation sequencing (NGS) workflow, offering fully customizable and cost effective panels to more quickly detect minimal residual disease.

Twist’s customers develop minimal residual disease tests that can be used in a variety of ways for patients with cancer. Minimal residual disease testing is a non-invasive method for tracking and predicting cancer progression over time, using simple blood draws to track low levels of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in the blood. Minimal residual disease testing can be used during cancer treatment to determine if there are tumor cells remaining and to assess whether a treatment plan needs to be adjusted. This testing can also be used after a patient achieves remission to monitor for recurrence of cancer cells.

“When it comes to monitoring minimal residual disease, which can inform treatment options for patients with cancer, there is no time to waste. With the Twist MRD Rapid 500 Panel, we are able to rapidly create custom panels for our research customers, including panels specific to each sample’s unique genetic variance of cancer in as few as five days,” says Emily M. Leproust, PhD, CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. “MRD is becoming the gold standard for monitoring cancer and informing personalized treatments for patients. Through this panel, we facilitate the research and development of our customers in developing new MRD solutions that clinicians can use to benefit their patients.” 

The Twist MRD Rapid 500 Panel can be incorporated into a standard NGS workflow and applies hybrid capture technology to sequence specific regions that may provide customized disease insights to researchers. This technology provides broader coverage than PCR or amplicon sequencing methods, potentially improving sequencing sensitivity and expands utility. 

To develop the custom panels, Twist receives targets of interest that have been identified by the customer through sequencing specific tumor cells. Twist then designs the probe sequence in a single day, manufactures and ships the panel in five business days, drastically reducing the waiting period typical of custom products and enabling quick response times. The Twist MRD Rapid 500 Panel leverages Twist existing protocols for target enrichment, allowing it to be performed simultaneously with established Twist whole exome NGS workflows.