Dr. Leyland-Jones Discusses Genome Sequencing

Dr. Brian Leyland-Jones from Winship Cancer Institute Discusses Genome Sequencing

Brian Leyland-Jones, MBBS, PhD, Cancer Therapies, Professor of Medicine, Emory University, discusses the use of whole-genome sequencing, describing that the cost has recently reduced, which makes it a more attractive option for many physicians.

Despite the reduced cost, Leyland-Jones believes that many institutions are not prepared to handle the amount of information gained from a complete sequence. He states that the complexity of looking at 3 billion base pairs, 30 fold, is a lot of genetic information to interpret.

Three approaches to genome sequencing, each progressively more complex, are used today. The first approach takes a snapshot of the genome and compares it to the 200 currently known oncogenes and mutations, the second option sequences the full exome and RNA, and the last looks at the entire genome.

Sequencing will eventually drift toward the whole-genome approach but for now a full exome and RNA sequence will suffice. This will change as more information is gained into the genome and as institutions and centers become better prepared.