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Quest Diagnostics Reveals New Genetic Discoveries for Testing for Leukemia, Lymphoma and Blood Clotting at 51st ASH Meeting and Exposition
Date:12/3/2009

fficer and senior vice president, Quest Diagnostics. "Our scientists' research presented at ASH 2009 expands the growing body of knowledge of the genetic and biological factors implicated in blood diseases. It also promotes our development of new diagnostics, including in our Leumeta(TM) family, for aiding clinical care of patients."

An example of the potential clinical value of the company's scientific research is a study that found that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), a variation in a DNA sequence, of the erythropoietin (EPO) gene is associated with the development of the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a potentially life-threatening illness for some patients (abstract number 3825).

"MDS is well documented to develop after exposure to toxic agents, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer, in some patients," said Maher Albitar, M.D., medical director and chief of Research and Development, Hematology and Oncology, Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, the esoteric research, development and testing operation of Quest Diagnostics. "While additional investigation is required, our findings suggest the potential clinical value of detecting a specific EPO gene polymorphism in high-risk individuals. For instance, patients with this specific polymorphism could store stem cells prior to beginning chemotherapy, so that if they develop MDS, they could undergo a bone marrow transplant using their own healthy cells at a later time."

Dr. Albitar continued: "We are also excited about our research of the Ki-67 protein (abstract numbers 1261 and 3104), MPL gene (abstract number 1891) and BCR-ABL1 protein (abstract numbers 1107 and 2179), among others. These studies underscore the clinical value of our proprietary Leumeta plasma-based technique, while also providing the basis for expanding this test portfolio with new diagnostic tests."

The company's Leumeta(TM) family of plasma-based molecular test
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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