The BCR-ABL1 fusion gene sequence is used to help diagnose and monitor treatment and recurrence for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). In fact, between 90-95% of diagnosed CML cases are BCR-ABL1-positive. While reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is the gold standard strategy for monitoring BCR-ABL1 transcripts, there can often be challenges with reproducibility due to the technology and workflow. Reverse-Transcription Digital PCR (RT-dPCR) is an adaptation of this method that could provide the robust and standardized workflow needed for patient stratification. In this webinar, Dr. Mary Alikian at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, discussed her team’s comparison of three different available dPCR platforms (ThermoFisher Scientific’s QuantStudio™ 3D System, Bio-Rad’s QX200™ System and RainDance’s RainDrop® System) and investigation of whether they could be applied to a clinical research setting to quantify BCR-ABL1 transcripts in CML patients. The team determined that only the RainDrop System was able to detect and quantitatively measure BCR-ABL1 transcripts in the <0.001% range at a level higher than the false positive rate in the control patient groups.
About the Presenter
Mary Alikian, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Associate and Registered Principal Clinical Scientist at the Imperial Molecular Pathology laboratory and the Department of Haematology at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London. Her research interests include molecular pathology, personalized medicine and molecular testing. Currently, Dr. Alikian is focused on the quantification and minimal residual disease monitoring in haematological malignancies, primarily in CML. As a member of the Imperial Molecular Pathology Laboratories’ R&D team, she is also responsible for implementing new technologies into routine diagnostic practice. Dr. Alikian completed her PhD in Molecular Pathology and Genomic Medicine at Imperial in 2016, and her MSc degree in Cancer Therapeutics at Queen Mary University.