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Creighton Medical Laboratories First to Offer New Cancer Test
Date:5/15/2009

OMAHA, Neb., May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Creighton Medical Laboratories, based at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, announced today that it has become the first clinical laboratory worldwide to offer a new and more effective testing method for cancer.

The method, called SNP array karyotyping, has been successfully used in

research laboratories to study cancer for several years. However, Creighton Medical Laboratories, using AffymetrixTM SNP arrays, is the first laboratory to validate the test in a clinical setting and make it available for routine clinical use.

The method can help doctors make more accurate cancer diagnoses and tailor patient management based on the DNA profiles of each person's cancer.

Array-based karyotyping is a 21st century spin on older genetic testing methods that have helped guide patient care for decades. DNA is bundled inside cells as chromosomes; a karyotype is a representation of all of the chromosomes in a cell. Normal human cells have two copies of each

chromosome. Cancer cells will often duplicate or lose pieces of chromosomes, and these chromosomal changes can help physicians categorize a tumor, determine its aggressiveness, and/or determine which tumors will respond to specific drugs.

With the new method being used at Creighton Medical Laboratories, DNA from

tumor cells is applied to the arrays and scanned into a computer. The chromosomes are reconstructed by the computer to provide a genome-wide view of the cancer cells at unprecedented resolution; physicians then 'surf' the cancer genome using web-based genome browsers.

"SNP array karyotyping is a powerful new tool in our molecular tool box," said Jill Hagenkord, M.D., a pathologist and director of molecular pathology and clinical genomics at Creighton Medical Laboratories. "We can detect genetic abnormalities that previously would have be
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SOURCE Creighton University
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