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  • Posted: 07/24/2013

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NCI Cancer Center News

Digital PCR technology detects brain-tumor-associated mutation in cerebrospinal fluid

Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (a component of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) and their colleagues have used digital versions of a standard molecular biology tool to detect a common tumor-associated mutation in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with brain tumors. In their report being published in the open-access journal Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids, the investigators describe using advanced forms of the gene-amplification technology polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to analyze bits of RNA carried in membrane-covered sacs called extracellular vesicles for the presence of a tumor-associated mutation in a gene called IDH1.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.