The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Salt Lake City, Ut.-based ARUP Laboratories recently announced an agreement to provide human leukocyte antigen (HLA) testing using next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods to ARUP customers.
In February, researchers from Children’s Hospital’s Division of Genomic Diagnostics announced that they had developed a unique laboratory test to characterize the genes that encode HLA molecules. HLAs are complex, highly variable proteins on cell surfaces that are essential to immune function, and their genes are the most complex gene family known in the entire human genome, which proved a challenge for prior testing methods.
The new test may improve transplantation, and provides an advanced tool for research in immunological diseases, infectious diseases, and pharmacogenomics. With its announcement, CHOP became the first hospital in the world to offer HLA genotyping.
HLA genotyping “addresses a 60-year old problem,” said Children’s Hospital’s Dimitri S. Monos, PhD, director of CHOP’s Immunogenetics Laboratory. “Since the discovery of HLAs in the early 1950s, it has been a challenge to accurately and thoroughly characterize HLA gene sequences. We have now used NGS tools to significantly advance HLA genotyping. This is the first technology that gives results free of any current or future ambiguities.”
“Our agreement with CHOP enables ARUP to offer this innovative test to our clients to help aid decisions in bone marrow transplantation. We are very pleased to include this testing as part of our comprehensive menu of services,” said Jerry Hussong, MD, ARUP’s chief medical officer and director of laboratories.
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, ARUP Laboratories is a nonprofit enterprise of the University of Utah’s Department of Pathology, and “offers in excess of 3,000 tests and test combinations, ranging from routine screening tests to highly esoteric molecular and genetic assays,” according to its website.
“We are pleased to be able to provide this test to ARUP Laboratories’ customers. It allows us to provide greater access to our tests,” said Robert W. Doms, MD, PhD, CHOP’s pathologist-in-chief.
To read more about genetic testing and research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, see the Division of Genetic Testing’s list of lab tests.