What Can ArrayXpress Do For Counsel?
ArrayXpress’ investigational genetics and genomics studies are designed to strengthen a case along with epidemiological, toxicological, medical, and environmental data. Although genetics and genomics data do not indicate toxicant exposure levels, it can often indicate whether exposure and resulting DNA damage did or did not occur due to a particular toxicant. Aside from exposure and causation, the individual’s genetic susceptibility through familial inheritance to a particular disease or disorder can also be determined.
What Types of Toxic Tort Cases?
ArrayXpress’ investigational studies can be used to assess toxic tort claims including cancer, cardiac disease, asbestos related disorders, and disorders associated with exposure to heavy metals (e.g. chromium, cadmium, lead), organic chemical solvents (such as benzene and its toxic metabolites); ionizing radiation (e.g. x-rays and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM)), and long-term exposure to wood-preserving chemicals (e.g. Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA); Pentachlorophenol (PCP) and Gamma-Hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH; lindane)) just to name a few.
Strategy of Matching the Claims
AX designs an investigational study to match the claims in a toxic tort case. Often, a specific mode of action is claimed. A detailed analysis of pathology reports, claims in the case, and information available in scientific peer reviewed literature will ultimately determine the strategy and structure of the scientific study. It’s important to design the study to answer the questions being asked.
AX analyzes the DNA, mRNA expression, epigenetic markers, and gene mutations in blood and/or clinical formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. The results are then carefully analyzed and interpreted in light of the latest scientific and medical literature to give guidance as to whether a patient was exposed to toxicants such as ionizing radiation, heavy metals or organic chemical solvents, and whether there is any indication of a familial genetic predisposition to the disease being linked to the claimed exposure.
AX works with the client, as well as their medical and toxicology experts to review the pathology reports and the specific claims to determine a potential approach to evaluation. We then use our internal databases, or develop new ones, based on peer-reviewed published literature to address the disease and the mode of action. We actively collaborate with the legal team in the development of affidavits to secure the tissue(s) (discriminated by an external pathologist) required for genomic testing, and then conduct the laboratory and sequencing work. Finally, we analyze the data using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and statistical tools and provide written reports to confirm or reject the scientific hypothesis. These data are then submitted to the medical and toxicological experts for their subsequent diagnoses and conclusions. Upon the client’s request we can also provide expert or fact witness testimony, attorney assistance, and supporting research during the conduct of a case.