Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized how assay developers, laboratories, and clinicians are diagnosing, treating, and monitoring disease. As NGS panels grow to include an increasing number of important biomarkers, so too must the reference standards used for development, validation, and routine QC.
Labs that demonstrate best practice clinical next-generation sequencing (NGS) quality management programs utilize positive run controls, designed for this purpose, to monitor assay analytical performance across each step of the clinical NGS workflow. Common parameters for assessing the analytical performance of a clinical NGS run include sensitivity (true positives), specificity (true negatives),
It is very likely that on your last flight the turbofan engines were controlled by full authority digital engine controls – FADECs for short. FADECs have played a significant role in keeping airline ticket prices low (except during holidays) by continually adjusting engine parameters so that the engine operates with maximum fuel efficiency and within operational limits, allowing pilots to focus on other tasks.
At the recently-concluded 2018 AMP Meeting, researchers at the New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) and Weill Cornell Medical Center (WCMC) presented a poster1 on the validation of an Oncomine™ cell-free DNA Lung Assay using ctDNA NGS standards developed by SeraCare (Seraseq® ctDNA v2 Reference Materials),2
Detecting & Managing Rare Pediatric & Adult Cancers
Neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinases (NTRK) can become abnormally fused to other genes resulting in growth signals that can lead to cancer in many organs of the human body. TRK gene fusion-based cancers are rare but present in pediatric and adult cancers such as lung, thyroid, colon, etc. (see, e.g., Figure 1).
“So as everyone here is aware, I’m sure, detection of circulating tumor DNA is challenging. There’s very little of it, to start with.” Hardly a revolutionary statement by Tony Godfrey, PhD, (Associate Chair, Surgical Research and Associate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine) but an important acknowledgement from a leading expert of the difficulty faced by laboratorians
Tips for Better EGFR Mutation Testing
Molecular testing of genomic alterations in the EGFR gene is critical to personalized treatment decisions for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the testing landscape is complex. Some mutations confer sensitivity, and others confer resistance to anti-EGFR targeted therapies.
If you’ve attended the AMP Annual Meeting over the years or seen any of the headlines it generates, you know how next-generation sequencing-based assays are becoming indispensable diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tools for a growing number of disease states. But just as important as the newest biomarker or latest chemistry – but seemingly less headline-worthy – are NGS quality control and standardization.
Of the many fantastic posters presented at AMP’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio, two concerning NGS-based liquid biopsy assays stood out. Both presenters described how their organizations are working to reliably detect pathogenic variants at extremely low allele frequencies – efforts critical to the clinical adoption of NGS-based liquid biopsy assays.
Have you ever seen those late night infomercials? One of the things I love whenever I have watched these is the over-the-top acting to depict whatever frustration the target audience must be feeling if they can’t coil up their garden hose or manage their closet space.
As frustrated as these actors are, I can’t help but imagine what an actor’s depiction of the level of frustration that a clinical genomics lab director might be feeling when things don’t go according to plan while carrying out an NGS assay.
Figure 1 Frustrated Actor in PocketHose Infomercial