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The vicious cancer cells

Cancer cells are regular cells that have undergone a certain transformation. The three aspects of the transformation are unlimited cancer cells growth, change and migration. As cancer cells are just regular cells affected by physical and/or chemical factors, what can we actually do to decrease the risk of cancer?

Most of the chemical mutagens and physical factors inducing gene mutation are known, most of them being carcinogenic: some of the chemical, commonly put into asphalt, can cause skin cancer; serious benzene poisoning can induce leukemia; lung cancer is partly caused by excessive smoking – the benzopyrene, tobacco tar and other substances in cigarettes have a direct effect on health; leukemia and bone marrow incidence is high among people in frequent contact with radioactive materials or radiation. Although it is not easy to change the environment around, you might want to take up cycling to contribute to environmental protection or improve safety standards at work to prevent harmful environmental effects. For the patients with cancer, though, the first step is attacking the cancer cells and stopping their growth and development.



Presently, platinum-containing drugs such as cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin are commonly used for cancer treatment. These drugs work by disrupting the normal double helix structure of the DNA strands of cancer cells, resulting in partial denaturation of these cells as they simultaneously lose their abilities to replicate. Such method, if successful, prevents cancer cell division. The problem is that while disrupting the functionality of the cancer cells, these drugs also have strong side-effects: cisplatin could cause renal toxicity, nausea and vomiting; carboplatin, despite of having stronger effects in tumor cell functionality than cisplatin, could cause marrow suppression, gastrointestinal reactions, toxicity nephrotoxicity, ototoxicity,bleeding, etc.

Traditional anti-cancer medicine helps fight cancer but at the same time is extremely harmful to the body. In order to avoid such side effects, it is best to specifically focus on the disruption of cancer cells. Targeted molecular treatment is currently the most efficient method of cancer treatment with bright development prospects. By targeting specific protein molecules or cancer cell gene fragments, the targeted treatment therapy works at both the cellular and the molecular levels.

The specific tumor cell tissue located a specifically chosen to achieve the most efficient results. Multiplex PCR technology can presently research and determine the target areas of cancer cells and guide the usage of Cetuximab, Trastuzumab and other molecularly-targeted cancer treatment drugs, thus reducing the negative effect on the surrounding healthy cells. The usage of such treatment can significantly reduce the suffering of cancer patients without reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.


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Health Gene Tech at AACC 2014 Annual Meeting & Clinical Laboratory Exhibition

2014 July 29-31 Health Gene Tech (HGT) proudly took part in the annual American Association for Clinical Chemistry & Clinical (AACC) Laboratory Exhibition. AACC is the world’s largest professional clinical laboratory exhibition – this year it brought together more than 700 world-renowned clinical examination exhibitors and over 20,000 participants from more than 100 countries worldwide. AACC is a platform where chief laboratory physicians, corporate executives and managers, medical experts, and product development specialists can connect. As a part of HGT international IVD market development plan, we participated in the AACC for the first time, boasting a state-of-the-art stand. HGT hoped to demonstrate the product lines in the company and the direction of the research in the R&D centre. Our distinctive molecular diagnostic techniques based on Advanced Fragment Analysis (AFA) via the Capillary Electrophoresis platform received a lot of attention, and HGT AFA technology kits seemed to be filling the gap of clinical application based on CE platform. HGT has successfully attracted a large audience from across the globe, and established potential collaboration ties.

The completed HGT AACC stand &  Health Gene Tech AACC representation team

The completed HGT AACC stand & Health Gene Tech AACC representation team

Health Gene Tech together with clinical molecular diagnostics, transformational medicine, laboratory and enterprise management experts have developed a variety of multi-target nucleic acid fragment kits based on the AFA (Advanced Fragment Analysis) technology. A broad range of products based on capillary electrophoresis platform provide simple, fast and efficient nucleic acid detection methods for clinical testing. The kits developed are suitable for pharmacogenomics analysis, infectious pathogen detection and human DNA identification.

HGT kits are compatible with AB 3130, AB 3500, AB 3500DX from Life Technologies and GeXP genetic analyzers from AB SCIEX. Handy Yowanto, AB SCIEX Product Manager, demonstrated the GeXP genetic analyzer on site. He ran gene detection reagent HGT kits applied on the GeXP platform, which received a warm welcome from the attendees.

HGT kits are compatible with AB 3130, AB 3500, AB 3500DX from Life Technologies and GeXP genetic analyzers from AB SCIEX. Handy Yowanto, AB SCIEX Product Manager, demonstrated the GeXP genetic analyzer on site. He ran gene detection reagent HGT kits applied on the GeXP platform, which received a warm welcome from the attendees.

Health Gene Technologies founded in August 2011 is focused on gene analysis, molecular diagnostics product development, as well as the production and the sales of the products. HGT boasts 2,000 square meters of molecular diagnostics R&D laboratory and a 1,000 square metre GMP standard purification plant. It employs both domestic and foreign leading molecular diagnostics and production management personnel, led by the professional R&D team.

Inspired by our motto “Health Technologies • Healthy Life” HGT commits to high standard AFA product development. The unique AFA technology is dedicated to independent R&D and production of nucleic acid molecule detection products. The products comply with leading international standards for human ID and paternity identification, infectious pathogen detection, individualized medication guide and provides the most superior molecular detection solutions.


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Is sequencing an answer to everything?

The future benefits of sequencing are closely tied to clinical diagnostics and meeting the ever-increasing healthcare expectations. This inevitably leads us to a couple of

important questions: “Do all clinical cases really need sequencing tests?” and “Is sequencing here to stay as an the superior testing method?”. In order to answer these questions, we need to look into the clinical usage of sequencing: although in theory many questions (including the handling of specimens) have already been settled, the truth is the when it comes to the actual clinical usage of sequencing – the ride is still bumpy.

Sequencing is a kind of nucleic acid detection technology, and is presumably going to replace hybridization as a basic testing technology. However, PCR amplification technologies are still going to be around for a long time as sequencing cannot increase the signal-to-noise ratio. A good illustration of that are STDs: although sequencing

can discover a small amount of pathogen genomes (a signal used in sequencing) by directly using blood samples for testing, an overwhelming majority of the results are genome sequences (noise). In addition, there is a chance that some pathogens from the surface of skin will also travel to the blood sample from the needle creating a challenge in differentiating the pathogens tested. One more example is tumor sample testing: tumor consist of a few tumor cells (mutation gene drivers) that are the real “sound“ in sequencing testing, however they are mixed together with a lot of invasive cervical carcinoma and its adjacent tissue. The challenge for sequencing here, again, is distinguishing the real “sound“ from random “noise“ in the sample sequencing results.

Truth be told, there are 20-40 thousand genes in the human body, only 140 are related to tumor growth with 12 relevant signal pathways. If using the sequencing method for the identification of the “sound“ bits the testing is extemely laborious with the majority of time spent deciphering what is “noise“ and what is “sound“, which is the tiny bit that is the actual valuable information for clinical testing. In order not to look for the needle in hay, researcher have an option of switching to multiplex PCR or multiplex hybridization.


The ultimate purpose of clinical testing in the reduce the “noise” to minimum and to increase the “sound” to maximum, PCR being an excellent solution. Therefore, the response to our question is No, sequencing is not an answer to all the kinds of clinical testing, and not the ultimate answer to clinical diagnosis. Sequencing might have reached the end of its road. Apart from the fact that sequencing cannot be used as the key technology for clinical testing, there are still many other problems related to sequencing that need to be solved: sample handling, database automatization, information processing, developing larger operation scale, stabilization, legalization (submitting to the authorities for approval), marketability, etc. And lastly, from technological point of view, clinical diagnosis needs an all-sided plan for problem solving and a guided result analysis system. No matter how good the technology, the results produced by it have to be interpretable and produce more “sound” than “noise”.