Something for Everyone at AMP
KISSIMMEE, FL -- The Association for Molecular Pathology meeting -- like the organization itself -- is organized by its four major subdivisions: Genetics, Solid Tumors, Hematopathology and Infectious Diseases.
Friday featured the first two plenary sessions of the meeting. The genetics plenary session explored complex genetic disorders of childhood. Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) discussed the Center for Applied Genomics founded at CHOP in 2006 with the goal of adding the genomes of 100,000 kids within four years. The Center now has nearly 90,000 genomes in its database (60,000 of which are children). In addition to the extensive genomic information, the database also accesses each person's electronic health record and houses extensive information on each child.
Approximately 15 percent of children under the age of 18 in the U.S. have special healthcare needs and genetic variations underlie a great deal of disease susceptibility and variability in drug response. Improving diagnostic methods is key for earlier treatment and improved outcome for many of these children.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) at the Center have identified genes and gene variants associated with Type 1 diabetes--such as the KIAA0350 variant. Children with this particular variant are more likely to develop diabetes when combined with other factors such as an environmental or behavioral risk.
Progress also has been made in other common childhood disorders: irritable bowel disease, asthma and autism spectrum disorders. Diverse GWAS are needed, Dr. Hakonarson stressed, because single locus/single marker studies may lack the power to detect genuinely associated loci.
Friday at AMP also included the plenary session for the solid tumor group, where Dr. Marc Ladanyi of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center discussed translating findings in glioblastoma from the cancer genome atlas into molecular diagnostics. Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Cleveland, also spoke at the plenary session about genetic lessons from colon cancer.
In addition to important plenary sessions, attendees could also participate in various small group workshops for a range of interests including performance assessment strategies, case studies in solid tumors and CYP450 testing.
Stay tuned for information from AMP poster sessions and news from the exhibit hall floor.
Guest blog written by Kelly Graham, associate editor, ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory