Tissue-based next generation sequencing: application in a universal healthcare system.

In the context of solid tumours, the evolution of cancer therapies to more targeted and nuanced approaches has led to the impetus for personalised medicine. The targets for these therapies are largely based on the driving genetic mutations of the tumours. To track these multiple driving mutations the use of next generation sequencing (NGS) coupled with a morphomolecular approach to tumours, has the potential to deliver on the promises of personalised medicine. A review of NGS and its application in a universal healthcare (UHC) setting is undertaken as the technology has a wide appeal and utility in diagnostic, clinical trial and research paradigms. Furthermore, we suggest that these can be accommodated with a unified integromic approach. Challenges remain in bringing NGS to routine clinical use and these include validation, handling of the large amounts of information flow and production of a clinically useful report. These challenges are particularly acute in the setting of UHC where tests are not reimbursed and there are finite resources available. It is our opinion that the challenges faced in applying NGS in a UHC setting are surmountable and we outline our approach for its routine application in diagnostic, clinical trial and research paradigms.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication 19 January 2017; doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.452 www.bjcancer.com.

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