Whole Genome Sequencing in Cancer Care: Strong Proof Seen

Blending the routine clinical data along with the whole genome sequence- WSG data at scale goes on to support clinicians when it comes to the delivery of precision cancer care, as per new landmark research.

Published in the journal Nature Medicine, the study went on to show that WGS could go on to offer a more absolute view of a tumor’s genetic spectrum by way of detecting numerous genetic alterations by making use of a single test.

Led by Genomics England, NHS England, Queen Mary University of London, as well as the University of Westminster, researchers went on to evaluate data that covered 33 kinds of solid tumors that were collected from around 13,880 participants with cancer across the 100,000 Genomes Project.

By having a look at the genomic data along with real-world treatment as well as the outcome data that has been collected from participants over a five-year period, like hospital visits as well as the type of treatment they received, they were able to take into account certain genetic changes across the cancer associated with better or worse survival rates along with better patient outcomes.

For instance, more than 90% of brain tumors as well as more than 50% of colon along with the lung cancers showed genetic alterations that could go on to affect how patients get treated, thereby guiding decisions about surgery or certain treatments they might require.

In over 10% of sarcomas, larger structural variants went on to be identified that had the capacity to affect clinical care and treatment.

And in more than 10% of ovarian cancers, the research pinpointed inherited risks, thereby laying out crucial insights for clinical care.

The research also found patterns throughout several cancers, along with uncovered genetic changes that may as well explain treatment responses or anticipate possible patient outcomes.

The researchers also concluded that, together, the outcomes of the study went on to show the essence of combining genomic as well as clinical data at scale so as to help healthcare professionals make the most ideal treatment decisions for their patients.

The principal clinician of cancer genomics and clinical studies at Genomics England and oncology consultant as well as cancer genomics lead at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Nirupa Murugaesu, opined that this study is an important milestone when it comes to genomic medicine. They are now beginning to realize the promise when it comes to precision oncology that had been envisioned around 10 years back when the 100,000 Genomes Project got launched.

They are also showing how cancer genomics can be incorporated into mainstream cancer care throughout a national health system, along with the benefits that it can bring patients.

By way of collating the long-term clinical data in addition to the genomic data, the research has created a first-of-its-kind resource when it comes to clinicians so as to better ascertain outcomes and customize treatments, which will enable them to inform, prepare, as well as manage the anticipations of patients in a more effective way.

The chief scientific officer for NHS England and senior responsible officer for genomics, Professor Dame Sue Hill, went on to add that the insights gained in this study, wherein the genomic patterns or profiles have been mapped out in thousands of patients having varied kinds of cancer, support and also inform the NHS Genomic Medicine Service by way of providing an absolute genomic testing service for patients with cancer and signal a future that’s very promising for healthcare as they go on to hone and also upgrade the NHS usage of genomics and customize interventions for better results.