D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, from the University of Colorado Cancer Center, explains excitement over the potential role for next-generation sequencing in cancer care.
D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, the director of the Thoracic Oncology Clinical Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, explains excitement over the potential role for next-generation sequencing in cancer care.
Next-generation sequencing, or massively parallel sequencing, provides a focused platform for sequencing 300 to 400 genes from a single sample. This approach supplies an opportunity to not only check for common mutations but also rare alterations, Camidge notes.
At this point, several companies have developed next-generation sequencing platforms. These technologies allow for the detection of several mutations that can be customized based on the tumor type, such as EGFR, ALK, and ROS1 in lung cancer. Next-generation sequencing removes confusion over which genes need sequenced, especially as new mutations are rapidly discovered, Camidge suggests.
If several tests are required, the cost associated with individually testing—both financially and in regard to the tumor samples—becomes prohibitive after 4-5 tests. The cost for next-generation sequencing is still at $5000, Camidge states. However, in the next 3 years, Camidge predicts that the cost associated with this approach will continue to decline, making it a viable option in the community setting.