American Chemical Society
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Fast Diagnostics of BRAF Mutations in Biopsies from Malignant Melanoma

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-08-04, 00:00 authored by François Huber, Hans Peter Lang, Katharina Glatz, Donata Rimoldi, Ernst Meyer, Christoph Gerber
According to the American skin cancer foundation, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon each year, and malignant melanoma represents its deadliest form. About 50% of all cases are characterized by a particular mutation BRAFV600E in the BRAF (Rapid Acceleration of Fibrosarcoma gene B) gene. Recently developed highly specific drugs are able to fight BRAFV600E mutated tumors but require diagnostic tools for fast and reliable mutation detection to warrant treatment efficiency. We completed a preliminary clinical trial applying cantilever array sensors to demonstrate identification of a BRAFV600E single-point mutation using total RNA obtained from biopsies of metastatic melanoma of diverse sources (surgical material either frozen or fixated with formalin and embedded in paraffin). The method is faster than the standard Sanger or pyrosequencing methods and comparably sensitive as next-generation sequencing. Processing time from biopsy to diagnosis is below 1 day and does not require PCR amplification, sequencing, and labels.