DrOmics Labs

Next-Generation Sequencing Assays for Cancer Patients

Power of Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing Assays for Cancer Patients

In the world of cancer diagnosis and treatment, advancements in technology have played a pivotal role in tailoring therapies to individual patients. Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) assays have emerged as a groundbreaking tool, providing clinicians with a comprehensive understanding of the genomic landscape of cancer. This precision medicine approach has revolutionized the way we approach cancer care, offering personalized insights that can guide treatment decisions. In this blog, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Targeted NGS assays, exploring their significance in cancer patient management.

Understanding Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing:

Next-Generation Sequencing is a high-throughput sequencing technology that enables the rapid sequencing of large DNA fragments, allowing researchers and clinicians to analyze vast amounts of genetic information. Targeted NGS takes this a step further by honing in on specific regions of the genome associated with cancer development, progression, and response to treatment.

How Targeted NGS Works:

  1. Selection of Target Genes: Targeted NGS assays focus on a predefined set of genes known to be relevant in cancer biology. These genes may include oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, and those associated with drug metabolism.
  2. Library Preparation: DNA or RNA from the patient’s tumor sample is extracted and prepared into a sequencing library. This involves fragmenting the DNA, attaching adapters, and enriching for the target genes of interest.
  3. Sequencing: The prepared library is then sequenced using NGS technology. This results in millions of short DNA sequences that represent the genetic information within the selected target genes.
  4. Bioinformatics Analysis: The generated sequencing data undergoes complex bioinformatics analysis to identify mutations, copy number variations, and other genomic alterations. This analysis provides a detailed molecular profile of the tumor.

Clinical Applications of Targeted NGS in Cancer:

  1. Mutation Profiling: Targeted NGS allows for the identification of specific mutations within cancer-related genes. This information helps oncologists understand the unique genetic makeup of an individual’s tumor.
  2. Treatment Selection: By uncovering actionable mutations, clinicians can tailor treatment strategies to target the specific genetic abnormalities present in a patient’s cancer. This promotes a more effective and targeted approach to therapy.
  1. Prognostic Insights: Targeted NGS can provide prognostic information, helping predict the likely course of the disease based on the identified genetic alterations. This aids in determining the aggressiveness of the cancer and potential outcomes.
  2. Monitoring Treatment Response: As a patient undergoes treatment, targeted NGS can be employed to monitor changes in the tumor’s genomic profile over time. This dynamic approach allows for adjustments in treatment plans as needed.

Challenges and Future Directions:

While targeted NGS has proven to be a valuable tool in cancer care, challenges such as the cost of testing, data interpretation, and the need for standardized protocols still exist. However, ongoing research and technological advancements aim to address these issues and further refine the utility of targeted NGS in the clinical setting.

In conclusion, targeted Next-Generation Sequencing assays represent a transformative approach in the field of oncology, ushering in an era of personalized medicine. By unraveling the genomic intricacies of each patient’s cancer, clinicians can make more informed decisions, ultimately improving outcomes and enhancing the quality of care for individuals battling this complex disease. As technology continues to evolve, the role of targeted NGS in cancer patient management is poised to expand, bringing us closer to a future where precision medicine is the standard in cancer treatment.


  1. Targeted next-generation sequencing assays using triplet samples of normal breast tissue, primary breast cancer, and recurrent/metastatic- BMC Cancer. https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12885-020-07432-w.
  2. A scalable high-throughput targeted next-generation sequencing assay for comprehensive genomic profiling of solid tumors. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0260089.
  3. Evaluation of Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing for the Management of Patients Diagnosed with a Cancer of Unknown Primary. https://academic.oup.com/oncolo/article/27/1/e9/6516573.
  4. Next-generation sequencing and its clinical application | Cancer Biology & Medicine. https://www.cancerbiomed.org/content/16/1/4.
  5. Direct comparison of circulating tumor DNA sequencing assays with targeted large gene panels. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0266889.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *