To highlight the clinical utility and practical application of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) in oncology, Strand Life Sciences, a global leader in precision medicine diagnostics, and Queen’s NRI Hospital jointly organised a symposium in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on January 18.
The symposium — ‘Next-Generation Sequencing for Precision Medicine in Oncology and Inherited Genetic Disorders’ — served as an ideal platform to engage the Visakhapatnam medical fraternity in an interesting discussion about precision medicine in oncology and genetic disorders.
In her keynote address, Dr Himabindu Gaddipati, CEO and Founder Elixsys Inc., San Diego, California, highlighted that how advancements in genetic testing, precision medicine now offers clinicians a way to manage a patient’s treatment with targetted therapies based on each patient’s unique genetic profile.
“Precision medicine facilitated by genomic profiling is expected to help tailor treatment to the patient. Genetic testing has enabled us to identify individuals and families at a high risk for developing hereditary cancer, and provide them with personalised surveillance and risk-reduction measures. In addition to the field of oncology, genetic testing has immensely impacted the prenatal and neonatal diagnosis of inherited disorders,” she said.
Cancer is among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. According to National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research around 2.5 million people are living with cancer in India with over 7 lakhs new cancer registered cases every year.
However, since the genomic profile of each cancer patient being unique, oncologists are faced with the challenging task of deciding a specific treatment that works best for each patient.
Speaking about the application of NGS for selection of targetted therapies for treating somatic cancer, Dr Urvashi Bahadur, Vice President – Clinical Diagnostics and Sr Director–Medical Genetics and Genomics, Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore, said, “Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based genomic tests profile for mutations within multiple genes simultaneously, eliminating the need for multiple tests, and provides a comprehensive view of genomic changes associated with cancer. It also helps oncologists to get clinically actionable and timely results to decide on treatment options for patients.”
Sushma Patil, Genetic Counsellor, Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore, highlighted the importance of genetic counselling and testing for hereditary cancer and inherited neurological disorders.
Dr Sudhir Borgonha, Chief Medical Officer, Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore, and Archit Sahai, Medical Science Liaison, Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore gave the opening remarks and introduced the genomics concept and precision medicine.
Bangaluru-based Strand Life Sciences is a global genomic profiling company and leader in precision medicine diagnostics, aimed at empowering cancer care and genetic testing for inherited diseases.
The Strand Centre for Genomics and Personalised Medicine is India’s first and only CAP & NABL accredited NGS laboratory.