Oncogenic Gene Fusion Detection Using Anchored Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction Followed by Next Generation Sequencing

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Gene fusions frequently contribute to the oncogenic phenotype of many different types of cancer. Additionally, the presence of certain fusions in samples from cancer patients often directly influences diagnosis, prognosis, and/or therapy selection. As a result, the accurate detection of gene fusions has become a critical component of clinical management for many disease types. Until recently, clinical gene fusion detection was predominantly accomplished through the use of single-gene assays. However, the ever-growing list of gene fusions with clinical significance has created a need for assessing fusion status of multiple genes simultaneously. Next generation sequencing (NGS)-based testing has met this demand through the ability to sequence nucleic acid in massively parallel fashion. Multiple NGS-based approaches that employ different strategies for gene target enrichment are now available for use in clinical molecular diagnostics, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. This article describes the use of anchored multiplex PCR (AMP)-based target enrichment and library preparation followed by NGS to assess for gene fusions in clinical solid tumor specimens. AMP is unique among amplicon-based enrichment approaches in that it identifies gene fusions regardless of the identity of the fusion partner. Detailed here are both the wet-bench and data analysis steps that ensure accurate gene fusion detection from clinical samples.