Brisbane, Australia. The Australian Translational Genomics Centre (ATGC) will extend their provision of clinical cancer genomic services after receiving additional NATA accreditation on 18thFebruary 2020. This will now allow the ATGC to report incidental germline (inherited) mutations in a number of genes, including BRCA1, BRAC2, ATM, CHEK2, and PALB2, with the range of germline mutations tested likely to increase.
The ability to detect and report incidental germline findings for genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, commonly mutated in familial breast cancers, is a significant advancement and will have an important impact upon the clinical care of some cancer patients and their family members. In particular, triple-negative breast cancer patients (those with cancer that are negative for oestrogen and progesterone receptors and HER2) may benefit from a more tailored chemotherapy regimen (https://www.precisiononcologynews.com/cancer/brca12-positive-breast-cancer-patients-may-respond-certain-chemotherapy-regimens-study-finds#.XoajQKiB1lM).
Recent changes to the cancer genomics service include extending the targeted gene panel from 127 to 598 genes. Bioinformatic analysis now also includes assessment of copy number changes and a larger number of gene fusion events, increasing the sensitivity for detecting certain gene and chromosomal rearrangements common in haematological and other disorders.
Further development includes the ability to perform genome sequencing on the advanced Illumina NovaSeq Sequencing system. Transferring whole-exome sequencing to the NovaSeq platform for both somatic and incidental secondary germline testing results in reduced cost for each sample analysed at the facility, and provides increased capacity as the demand grows.
The ATGC accreditation team, Ms Lisa Anderson, Professor Emma Duncan, Associate Professor Paul Leo and Mr Sushil Narayan, being presented with the NATA ISO 15189 Accreditation Certificate by Professor David Waugh, Head of The School of Biomedical Sciences, QUT.
The state-of-the-art genomic testing offered by ATGC in partnership with Pathology Queensland is currently funded for indicated cancer patients at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, but comprehensive genomic testing is also available to external patients with advanced solid and blood cancers when tests are ordered through their treating consultant (https://research.qut.edu.au/translationalgenomicsgroup/for-health-professionals/). ATGC has been the key driver in the establishment of the Queensland Molecular Tumour Board, a multidisciplinary team meeting where cases are discussed (https://research.qut.edu.au/translationalgenomicsgroup/molecular-tumour-board/). The meetings are open to cancer clinicians state-wide, whether they be in public or private practice. The meetings utilise Zoom teleconference facilities for those in distant centres or unable to attend in person.
The ATGC is committed to high customer services, standards, quality, patient safety, translating research into clinical practice, and integrating continuous improvement in its laboratory and research services. At this audit, ATGC was also accredited for Microarray SNP testing, which is the first step towards pharmacogenomic testing by ATGC. Clinicians and Researchers will have assurance that microarray testing has been done to the highest standards, has quick turnaround time and has better research reproducibility.
Compliance with ISO15189 and NPAAC Requirements is regarded as an achievement of distinction that puts patient safety first, delivers quality results, excellent customer services and improves laboratory performance. NATA/RPCA ISO15189 Accreditation provides formal recognition and assurance that the ATGC laboratory operates to the highest standards for confidence in patient care.
For further details on clinical cancer genomics, or enquiries about research services offered, please contact the ATGC: firstname.lastname@example.org 07 3443 7280.