Speaker Abstract RCMM 2017: Dr. Caroline Chan

Recent advances in molecular profiling of cancer have given clinicians the tools required to make better treatment decisions for patients. Building an accurate representation of the biology of a particular tumor is key for patient selection, therapeutic monitoring, and rational combination therapy design. Accurately measuring the expression of genes in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumor tissues has long been a struggle due to the inherent degradation of RNA isolated from these materials. Accurate quantification of gene expression levels in FFPE samples can enable the testing of biomarker hypotheses in the clinic and can potentially be used for patient stratification or selection in clinical trials. In today’s seminar, I am going to discuss how the Nanostring technology enable researchers to quickly analyze the expression of up to 770 genes (each panel) and construct a comprehensive view of the biology of a particular tumor as well as new tools that allow them to measure DNA, RNA, and protein simultaneously and with spatial resolution.

With the broader understanding of the biology and pathway activity of cancer, scientists are better equipped to identify, characterize and target biomarkers for cancer that can be translated for clinical applications.