Transgenomic has launched Surveyor Scan K-RAS kit for broad detection of mutations predictive of response to recently developed therapies. The kit features its proprietary Surveyor Nuclease and Wave HS DHPLC platform.

Surveyor Scan technology is an approach to mutation detection that uses a PCR amplification reaction and hybridisation to form heteroduplex DNA molecules in samples with K-RAS mutation. A digestion step is performed using Surveyor Nuclease, which cuts the DNA strands at mismatched base pairs.

The company said that the different sized pieces of DNA are recognised as additional peaks on a chromatogram when compared to non-mutant DNA. K-RAS mutations are associated with lack of response to therapies directed against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in colorectal cancer.

Reportedly, in a lung cancer study presented by OSI Pharmaceuticals, at the annual meeting of the 2009 American Association for Cancer Research, Surveyor Scan K-RAS was compared with standard sequencing and Scorpions ARMS, an allele-specific test. The study demonstrated that the Surveyor method was more sensitive then sequencing and a better predictor of response to single-agent anti-EGFR therapy than Scorpions ARMS, claims the company.

Dr. Eric Kaldjian, chief scientific officer of Transgenomic, said: “For several years Surveyor technology has been recognised as having superior detection capability over standard sequencing, and so we have developed it into a user-friendly kit for KRAS.”

“In addition to detecting the most common activating mutations, it also detects other mutations that current sequencespecific methods will not find. This technology will have practical extensions to tumor suppressor genes, such as p53, in which mutations of clinical significance may be present

throughout a gene.”

Craig Tuttle, chief executive officer of Transgenomic, said “We are pleased to announce the launch of our Surveyor Scan K-RAS kit. We have long believed that Surveyor Nuclease based applications will be a powerful method to detect somatic mutations in gene pathways that are becoming increasingly important in selecting appropriate treatments for cancer patients.”