Ron Kerkhoven studied Molecular Biology at the Free University and did a PhD in molluscan neurobiology with an emphasis on the evolution of neuropeptides. At the Netherlands Cancer Institute he worked in the group of prof René Bernards studying the role of E2F transcription factors in tumor development and he took part in studying the gene expression patterns in sporadic breast tumors using Agilent microarrays that led to an FDA approved microarray that predicts metastasis from primary tumor samples. He was involved in setting up the Central Microarray Facility at the NKI that has since evolved into the Genomics Core Facility where Illumina Deep Sequencing is routinely performed.
The revolutionary capacity expansion of DNA and RNA sequencing that has taken place over the last few years has led to the possibility to study the human genome in health and disease. This lecture will focus on the applications of the NGS technology provided by the Genomics Core Facility of the Netherlands Cancer Institute. These are based in scientific research although we are moving in the direction of clinical applications. The Genomics Core Facility is involved in the process of setting up a clinical pipeline to sequence the exons of a custom panel of 178 cancer relevant genes in lung and bladder cancer patients. The selection criteria of genes in the custom set has been their potential to be targetable, enabling personalized treatment. Particularly challenging is our aim to perform a DNA and RNA capture on FFPE tumor material of patients to elucidate the tumor mutation- and translocation spectrum. Using FFPE material we can combine information on cellular morphology, tumor content and mutation spectrum of the samples.
Ron Kerkhoven, NKI