Fast Five Quiz: Next-Generation Sequencing in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Maurie Markman, MD


August 22, 2022

In NSCLC, any given tumor may have multiple mutations. If the traditional molecular assays are used in such clinical settings, multiple assays may have to be performed for multiple mutations, and a larger amount of tissue may be needed. Using NGS technology, hundreds of DNA targets can be obtained from one test.

The critical difference between Sanger sequencing and NGS is sequencing volume. While the Sanger method sequences only a single DNA fragment at a time, NGS is massively parallel, sequencing millions of fragments simultaneously per run. This process translates into sequencing hundreds of genes at one time, as noted above.

NGS generally has a turnaround time of 10 days to 2 weeks or even longer, depending on how extensive the testing is. This is longer than Sanger or polymerase chain reaction circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) testing that has a turnaround time of approximately 1 week for many assays.

Finally, the emergence of drug-tolerant and drug-resistant cells remains the rule, even in the face of increasingly potent targeted therapies.

Learn more about NGS.


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