Thanks to next-generation sequencing, it’s now easier than ever to provide comprehensive genetic analysis to guide therapeutic decisions for patients with cancer, but it’s important to use resources wisely, says Linnea Baudhuin, Ph.D. Dr. Baudhuin is an associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at Mayo Medical School and co-director of the clinical genome sequencing and personalized genomics laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
For many laboratories today, next-generation sequencing is a test they send out, but it won’t always be. With new emerging technologies and platforms becoming more user-friendly, larger hospitals and health systems will bring the testing in-house. Mayo Medical Laboratories is one of the early adopters of next-generation sequencing.
Mayo Medical Laboratories is a global reference laboratory operating within Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Its staff collaborates with clinicians, including those at the Center for Individualized Medicine, to provide knowledge of, and access to, the latest testing and treatment guidance. It works in collaboration with and support of the many specialists at the Center for Individualized Medicine to provide expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing.
Dr. Baudhuin recently shared her experiences with next-generation sequencing with CAP TODAY.
“Our physicians will initially say they want a large somatic gene panel, with 500, 100, or more genes, until they get their initial results back and they have all these variants of uncertain significance [VUS],” Dr. Baudhuin says. “Then they’ll say, ‘We don’t want all these genes. We just want the four or five genes strongly associated with this type of cancer.’”
Dr. Baudhuin discussed several tips for next generation sequencing testing, including:
Dr. Baudhuin added, “The larger the panel, the more time-consuming to the lab. A smaller lab would be wise to develop smaller panels to save on resources yet still provide clinically meaningful results.”
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