Cancer is among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. According to National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research around 2.5 million people are living with cancer in India with over 7 lakhs new cancer registered cases every year.
With the genomic profile of each cancer patient being unique, oncologists are faced with the challenging task of deciding a specific treatment that works best for each patient. Keeping this in mind, Strand Life Sciences, a global leader in precision medicine diagnostics, in association with Queen’s NRI Hospital organized a symposium on ‘Next-Generation Sequencing for Precision Medicine in Oncology and Inherited Genetic Disorders’. With advancements in genetic testing, precision medicine now offers clinicians a way to manage a patient’s treatment with targeted therapies based on each patient’s unique genetic profile.
Delivering the keynote address at the symposium, Dr. Himabindu Gaddipati, CEO & Founder Elixsys Inc., San Diego, CA, highlighted the clinical utility and practical application of NGS. She said, “Precision medicine facilitated by genomic profiling is expected to help tailor treatment to the patient. Genetic testing has enabled us to identify individuals and families at a high risk for developing hereditary cancer, and provide them with personalized surveillance and risk-reduction measures. In addition to the field of oncology, genetic testing has immensely impacted the prenatal and neonatal diagnosis of inherited disorders.
Speaking about the application of NGS for selection of targeted therapies for treating somatic cancer, Dr. Urvashi Bahadur, Vice President – Clinical Diagnostics & Sr. Director–Medical Genetics & Genomics, Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore, said, “Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based genomic tests profile for mutations within multiple genes simultaneously, eliminating the need for multiple tests, and provides a comprehensive view of genomic changes associated with cancer. It also helps oncologists to get clinically actionable and timely results to decide on treatment options for patients.”
Ms. Sushma Patil, Genetic Counselor, Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore, highlighted the importance of genetic counselling and testing for hereditary cancer and inherited neurological disorders.
Dr. Sudhir Borgonha, Chief Medical Officer, Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore, and Mr. Archit Sahai, Medical Science Liaison, Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore gave the opening remarks and introduced the genomics concept and precision medicine.
The symposium served as an ideal platform to engage the Visakhapatnam medical fraternity in an interesting discussion about precision medicine in oncology and genetic disorders.