Transgenomic has introduced the new Multiplexed Ice Cold PCR (MX ICP) CLIA service for mutation detection in cancer patients, which will help in more informed diagnoses, better treatment decisions and ongoing patient monitoring.

The first tests will be used to detect EGFR exon 20 T790M mutations, which affect the utility of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) drugs used for non-small cell lung cancer and EGFR exon 12 S492R mutations that render colorectal cancer patients resistant to the widely-used drug cetuximab.

Transgenomic president and CEO Paul Kinnon said: "Launching our Multiplexed Ice Cold PCR-based CLIA mutation detection service for oncologists and their patients is a major milestone for Transgenomic and, we believe, an important advance for the field of precision medicine."

Multiplexed Ice Cold PCR is said to achieve its ultra-high sensitivity by preferentially enriching the scarce mutant DNA sequences present in an ocean of wild-type (normal) DNA through selective amplification of the mutant DNA.

It was originally developed by the laboratory of Dr Mike Makrigiorgos at the Dana- Farber Cancer Institute that has exclusively licensed rights to the technology to Transgenomic.

The new service will accept a wide range of patient samples such as tissue, plasma, fine needle aspiration, bronchoscopy, cytology and other body fluid samples.

According to the firm, actionable results will be provided in seven to ten working days and additional tests and panels for mutations in EGFR, KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CA, BRAF and other genes are currently in development.