Meet Dr. Eduardo Castro-Echeverry and Baylor Scott & White Health
Dr. Castro-Echeverry is a molecular genetic pathology specialist. He is board certified in Anatomic & Clinical Pathology and practices at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center. Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest nonprofit health care system in Texas and one of the largest in the US, includes 52 hospitals and more than 800 patient care sites.
Solid tumor profiling requires reliable detection of low abundance somatic mutations in tumor samples that are often small in size and low in quality. In addition, clinical labs require a method that is fast, low-cost, and with a workflow that allows for efficient onboarding of new tests.
Many of the currently available technologies – primarily next-generation sequencing (NGS), single gene sequencing, and pyrosequencing – have limitations. Most NGS platforms can only reliably detect variants down to 5% variant allele frequency (VAF), can be expensive and time-consuming to validate, and require extensive bioinformatics support. Sanger and pyrosequencing can become very challenging at low VAF levels and are unsuitable for high sample volumes.
Several technologies also require specimens with high tumor content and can reject as many as 20% of samples due to low tumor fraction and DNA yield.
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Baylor Scott & White Health decided to take a new approach and evaluate iPLEX® HS chemistry and MassARRAY System by Agena Bioscience® for use in their lab. With a detection level as low as 1% VAF, the iPLEX HS chemistry provided the sensitivity level Dr. Castro-Echeverry was looking for, even with low sample input.
But was the MassARRAY System able to deliver on efficient onboarding and fast turnaround time? After testing the technology, Dr. Castro-Echeverry concluded,
“The main advantages of the MassARRAY System are ease of use, quick turnaround time, and ease of onboarding…. With the Agena MassARRAY, we can go live with an assay in a short period of time.”
Dr. Castro-Echeverry found that the MassARRAY System’s more efficient workflow allowed him to analyze a higher number of samples with greater accuracy and sensitivity, and that the turnaround time from sample acquisition to result reporting was much lower than for NGS. In addition, unlike the more complicated and time-consuming onboarding required for NGS technologies, the MassARRAY System’s straightforward workflow allowed the iPLEX HS assay to go live quickly.
The MassARRAY® System’s single-day workflow and multiplexed chemistry proved to be the technology Baylor Scott & White Health needed to deliver a quick and cost-effective test for clinically informative variants, at as low as 1% VAF[i].
[i] Sutton BC, Birse RT, Maggert K, Ray T, Hobbs J, Ezenekwe A, et al. (2017) Assessment of common somatic mutations of EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, NRAS in pulmonary non-small cell carcinoma using iPLEX HS, a new highly sensitive assay for the MassARRAY System. PLoS ONE 12 (9): e0183715. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.
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