Almac Diagnostic Services Announces Pioneering Genetic Research on Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) Using Breast Cancer DSA™ Research Tool

August 8, 2007

— Study Being Conducted with Professor Adrian Harris —

08 Aug 2007.  Almac Diagnostic Services announced a major study analyzing ductal carcinoma in situ tissue samples using its novel Breast Cancer DSA™ microarray.  DSA™ research tools focus on the transcriptome of an individual disease, in this case breast cancer, and contain significant additional data, relevant to the disease of interest that is not available on other generic microarrays.  The study will be conducted in collaboration with Prof Adrian Harris, Cancer Research UK and Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Oxford.

“Our novel technology is helping researchers to reduce discovery timelines, accelerate the validation process and ultimately deliver clinical applications in this disease setting.” said Paul Harkin, BSc, PhD, Professor of Molecular Oncology at the Center for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University, Belfast and MD and President of Almac Diagnostic Services.

“This particular study aims to generate a gene signature to identify the subset of DCIS patients who are likely to suffer a recurrence,” he added.

The study will use paraffin embedded samples and is due to commence in the coming weeks.  Tissue samples will be analyzed using the Breast Cancer DSA™ research tool.  An Almac bioinformatics team will interrogate the resulting data to identify any potential signature.

“Our research will use the Breast Cancer DSA™ microarray to examine the transcriptome of ductal carcinoma in situ at a greater level of specificity generating additional information that will help us draw meaningful conclusions from our data.  Eventually we hope to develop a gene expression signature that will inform clinical treatment strategies” said Prof Adrian Harris, Cancer Research UK Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Oxford and Principal Investigator on the study.

In most cases, the treatment for DCIS is total mastectomy as it is curative in nearly all patients1.  However, this strategy may represent over-treatment for those patients in whom disease will not recur2.  A gene signature identifying the subset of DCIS patients most likely to suffer a DCIS recurrence, could therefore be used to aid those remaining patients who have been identified as unlikely to suffer a recurrence to choose to undergo breast conserving surgery.


1: Stuart K, Boyages J, Brennan M, Ung O. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ – management update. Aust Fam Physician. 2005 Nov; 34(11):949-54.

2: Baxter NN, Virnig BA, Durham SB, Tuttle TM. Trends in the treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 Mar 17; 96(6):443-8.


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