Tohoku University Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization (ToMMo), Tohoku University Hospital and Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) have demonstrated that quantum cryptographic communications technology can provide genomic medicine with a safe, completely secure data management environment. This was achieved by (1) developing a system which applies quantum cryptographic communications technology to clinical sequencing, and (2) using that system to safely transmit cancer genome analysis data (exome sequence (Note 1) data), via online expert panel attended by physicians and other experts to analyze the sequenced data (Figure 1). This is the world's first development and demonstration of a system using quantum cryptographic communication technology in the field of genomic medicine (Note 2).
Clinical sequencing is a new examination in genomic medicine that uses a next-generation sequencer to read a patient’s gene sequence at ultra-high speed. The results of the genomic data analysis are then provided to physicians and other experts to assist in patient diagnosis and treatment selection. This system builds on and extends capabilities that Toshiba and ToMMo announced in January of this year, and the achievements of this demonstration are a major step toward a practical system that will provide safe and secure genomic medicine.
This research was carried out as part of the Strategic Innovation Creation Program (SIP) of the Council for Science and Technology and Innovation of the Cabinet Office, "Society 5. 0 Realization Technology Utilizing Light and Quantum" (Quantum Science and Technology Research and Development Organization). Toshiba, ToMMo and Tohoku University Hospital will present the details of the demonstration and the technology at the International Conference QCrypt 2020 (10th International Conference on Quantum Cryptography) on August 10-14.
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(Note 1) Exome sequencing
A technique that efficiently detect mutations (SNV (SNP)/InDel) in exons by limiting sequencing to exons, the portion of the gene that code for proteins. This differs from whole-genome sequencing which analyzes the entire genome sequence, and to SNP arrays which comprehensively analyze the existing SNPs on the whole-genome.
(Note 2) Based on Toshiba’s internal investigation in July 2020