Clínic Barcelona. Hospital Universitari
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January, 27 2021

The Hosptial Clinic implements a new molecular test to detect genetic alterations in solid tumors

The Hospital Clínic de Barcelona takes a step forward in the molecular diagnosis of patients with advanced cancer by implementing a new molecular test that detects multiple genetic alterations in 52 genes by analyzing tumoral DNA and RNA.

The implantation of this genetic test based on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology allows personalizing each patient's treatment and improving the test currently used for testing lung, colon, rectal cancer and melanoma.

The Medical Oncology Service of the Hosptial Clinic, together with the Center for Biomedical Diagnosis (CDB), is at the forefront of the clinical application of this diagnostic tool in Spanish public health, due to the technology used, the number of genes and the types of cancer that are routinely tested, including cancer of the lung, breast, colon, rectum, melanoma, bile duct, pancreas, thyroid, salivary glands, and bladder.

Prognostic and predictive information to treat patients

The oncology of the future needs a molecular classification of cancer based on genomic data that provide prognostic and predictive information essential for patients' treatment. In 2016, the Hospital Clinic implemented a genetic test with 22 genes for lung, colon and rectal cancer and melanoma. Now 52 genes will be analyzed for a specific treatment approved, or that qualifies to participate in a clinical trial approved by the CEIm.

The genetic test will allow the detection of all genetic alterations (mutations, copy number variants and gene fusions), both treatable now and those that may be soon. Dr. Aleix Prat, head of the Clinic's Medical Oncology Service, comments that, "with the application of this new diagnostic tool in clinical practice we have a more appropriate picture of the tumor's biology so we can choose the most appropriate treatment suitable in each case inside and outside a clinical trial".

"A broader panel of genes that not only ensures the detection of more potentially treatable genetic alterations but does guarantee to acquire more experience with the diagnostic molecular techniques used and aspire to higher levels of quality of care", explains Dr. Antonio Martínez, head of the Service of Pathological Anatomy of the Clinic.

"The implementation in clinical practice of genetic diagnosis strategies based on massive sequencing is key to implement personalized precision medicine in cancer patients cost-effectively," says Dr. Joan Anton Puig, head of CORE of Molecular Biology.

Highly automated molecular biology tests

Genetic analysis of tumors is performed at the CORE for Molecular Biology of the Center for Biomedical Diagnosis (CDB). It is a highly automated operational area in which molecular biology tests corresponding to the different services of the CBD are carried out, which includes Pathology, Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and Immunology. The development of the CORE for Molecular Biology allows the CBD to adapt to emerging molecular diagnostic technologies and facilitate the implementation of future technologies that impact in the molecular diagnosis.


Biomedical Diagnostic Center (CDB)

Villarroel, 170 · 08036 Barcelona
Tel: +34 93 227 54 64 · Fax: +34 93 227 98 75 · ·