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Expanding the use of genomic sequencing for improved cancer treatment

A recent study concluded that universal molecular testing in stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer is a critical first step in determining the best course of treatment; but adoption of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been slow. Here, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Dr Luca Quagliata discusses the issues around widespread introduction of NGS and how oncologists and pathologists can use it to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

Genomic sequencing can have a profound impact on patient outcomes and can hold the key to unlocking a world of more precise, tailored care based on a cancer’s unique genomic profile. 

A recent study published in JCO Oncology Practice authored by researchers at MGH, the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, The University of Toledo, UPMB Hillman Cancer Center, Integra Connect and Thermo Fisher Scientific further reinforces the importance of genomic sequencing for cancer patients prior to the start of treatment. More specifically, the study explored real-world data of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and concluded that universal molecular testing in stage 4 NSCLC is a critical first step in determining the best course of treatment for patients. The research further points out that prescribing a one-size-fits-all treatment before next-generation sequencing (NGS) results are available may compromise patient outcomes. 

However, in-house adoption of NGS has been slow and not enough patients are reaping the benefits of genomic sequencing. According to a 2021 US study, less than half of patients who qualify end up getting their tumours sequenced. With patients more likely than ever to be diagnosed with late-stage cancers, there is no time to waste in identifying an optimal treatment. 

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Upcoming Events

Pathology Horizons 2024

MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath
18-20 April, 2024

Diagnostics North East Conference 2024

The Catalyst, Newcastle upon Tyne
19 April, 2024

ECCMID 2024 - European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Fira Gran Via, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
27-30 April 2024

British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Microbiology Conference

UK Health Security Agency, Colindale, London
2 May 2024

EQA Reports: Interpreting Key Information & Troubleshooting Tips

ONLINE - Zoom
Thursday 16th May 2024

Participants’ Meeting: UK NEQAS Immunology, Immunochemistry & Allergy

Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield
24th May 2024

Access the latest issue of Pathology In Practice on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Pathology In Practice app from your device's App store

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