Fixation effects on variant-calling in a clinical resequencing panel
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Formalin fixation is the standard method for preservation of tissue for diagnostic purposes, including pathological review and molecular assays. However, this method is known to cause artifacts that can affect the accuracy of molecular genetic tests. We assessed the applicability of alternative fixatives to determine whether these perform significantly better on next-generation sequencing assays, and whether adequate morphology is retained for primary diagnosis, in a prospective study using a clinical-grade laboratory-developed targeted resequencing assay. We examined and quantified several parameters relating to sequencing quality and variant-calling from tumor and normal colon epithelial tissues. We identify one alterative fixative, Sakura Universal Molecular Fixative that suppresses many formalin-related artifacts while retaining adequate morphology for pathological review.
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