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NGS Enables Individualized Treatment Approach in Oncology

Brandon Scalea
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2019
Steven N. Kalkanis, MD

Steven N. Kalkanis, MD

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is the future of oncology, said Steven N. Kalkanis, MD, but its widespread use is dependent on researchers translating the data into improved patient outcomes.

“As a society and healthcare industry, we need to invest heavily in NGS because we have tools linking a patient's own genetic code with the genetics of what is driving their disease,” said Kalkanis, professor and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and medical director of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute. “We can design a treatment that is specific to them.”

The field has come a long way in terms of identifying actionable biomarkers across tumor types. These molecular markers, detected through NGS, can then be paired with FDA-approved therapies, allowing for more personalized treatment. This testing can also provide insight into why patients develop resistance to standard treatments.

In an interview with OncLive®, Kalkanis, who is also the Mark L. Rosenblum Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery and co-director of the Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute, explained how NGS testing fits into cancer treatment today and efforts that need to be made to enable its widespread use in the future.

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