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Home Industry News Novel sequencing approach used to detect genomic signs of cancer

Novel sequencing approach used to detect genomic signs of cancer

8th June 2017

A study has shown the promise of a new gene sequencing approach in the development of blood tests for the early detection of cancer.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center research showed how genomic sequencing of cell-free DNA in the blood of people with advanced cancer could influence the development of a future assay, allowing signs of cancer to be picked up earlier than ever.

This new sequencing approach was able to identify at least one tumour-derived genomic alteration in the blood of 89 percent of patients with advanced breast, lung or prostate cancer, even if it occurred in very low levels in the tumour.

Of particular note was the fact that this approach was shown to be able to detect alterations independently, without relying on tumour tissue sequencing results to guide the search for alterations.

With this new method, a sizeable portion of the genome can be scanned and each location sequenced an average of 60,000 times, yielding about 100 times more data than other sequencing approaches.

Lead author Dr Pedram Razavi, a medical oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said: "Our findings demonstrate that a high-intensity sequencing approach allows us to detect, with high confidence, changes in cell-free DNA across a large part of the genome without information from tumour tissue."

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