NGS Testing Explained
NGS genetics represents a revolutionary parallel sequencing technology called ‘next-generation sequencing’ (NGS). NGS diagnostics and gene panel testing have revolutionized the biological science industry, offering access to insights and diagnostics that were previously impossible.
NGS tests, performed via NGS panels, enable researchers to study biological systems and perform various complex applications. Today’s complex genomic research demands information well beyond the capacity of traditional DNA sequencing technology.
Thanks to human intelligence and significant advances in technology, NGS has become a standard research tool used to detect genetic abnormalities. Using NGS tester information, physicians can prescribe preventative measures against various conditions.
What is NGS?
The NGS meaning can be interpreted as modern sequencing technology that can help sequence DNA for medical analysis.
Otherwise known as ‘high throughput sequencing,’ next-generation sequencing is an umbrella term describing several modern sequencing technologies that help scientists sequencing RNA and DNA much quicker than previous techniques.
After the first successful human genome sequence had been completed, scientists demanded techniques that would enable them to sequence DNA faster and cheaper. This demand led to NGS platform development, which can provide mass parallel sequencing and allow millions of DNA fragments to be sequenced in unison. Using NGS technology, researchers can now sequence an entire genome in one day.
NGS platforms each achieve sequencing differently. However, several of the most commonly used platforms use a similar methodology. This process involves template preparation, followed by imaging and sequencing, and ending with data analysis.
During the NGS testing process, NGS panels containing a select set of gene regions or genes with known or suspected associations with specific diseases are studied rigorously. Specialist NGS scan tools provide scalability, resolution, and speed when evaluating targeted genes of interest.
Advantages of NGS Testing
Next-generation sequencing technologies are accelerating success in the field of assessing hematological malignancies. They help medical professionals to examine a patient’s genetic makeup at a minimal cost. To date, many discoveries have helped to provide valuable insights into risk stratification, disease initiation, and therapeutic intervention. As time progresses, NGS analysis will probably become a routine part of diagnostic testing.
Some additional benefits of NGS testing include:
- Providing insights into a patient’s prognosis while predicting outcomes and responses
- Providing detailed analysis and interrogation of a tumor’s genome. This includes coding DNA and looking at changes in RNA and a patient’s constitution.
- NGS testing is more reliable and cost-effective than conventional sequencing methodologies.
A significant strength of next-generation sequencing is that it can detect abnormalities across the entire human genome. This includes deletions, substitutions, insertions, duplications, chromosome inversions/translocations, and copy number changes.
What’s more, NGS testing can detect all these abnormalities using less DNA than what’s required for other traditional sequencing methodologies, with faster turnaround times.
Reasons Physicians Should Adopt NGS Testing
NGS testing offers physicians:
- Advanced insights regarding their patient’s diseases and conditions
- The opportunity to save time and tissue while still obtaining a comprehensive answer to specific medical questions.
- Physicians can avoid expensive tests as they search for an effective medicine or treatment program for their patients.
Next-generation sequencing shows a lot of promise in the future of clinical application. Researchers are currently studying how to read the human genome and identify relationships between diseases and individual genetic codes.
Current applications in the field of next-generation sequencing in medicine include genetic counseling. This process can predict future health challenges that people’s children may face based on the parents’ genetic makeup.
Oncology specialists can develop targeted treatments based upon genetic information obtained from tumors. NGS can be used to identify previously undiscovered pathogens and identify the causes of unconventional conditions.
NGS testing can also help to develop treatments by identifying how bacteria and viruses react to drugs. Sequencing can help epidemiologists monitor the spread of viruses by identifying mutations and tracing transmission.
NGS testing relies on specialized diagnostic equipment to place samples in tiny channels to be separated for sequencing. These microfluidic devices are created by diagnostic device manufacturers and in-vitro diagnostic development companies. Ultimately, NGS testing assists researchers and doctors in identifying diseases and their causes.
Should You Participate in NGS Testing?
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you can undergo molecular or genetic profiling to identify genetic alterations that specific therapy can treat. You can also find out prognostic information that can help your physician with their treatment decisions.
Whether or not you should participate in this testing depends on your cancer stage, type, and other characteristics. Family history of cancer and the costs of testing are both factors that may influence whether or not your genetic information is analyzed.
NGS testing is more beneficial in the diagnostics of some conditions than others. For example, molecular profiling can help diseases such as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but its use is uncommon in kidney cancer conditions.
We provide a wide range of cutting-edge genetic testing procedures for patients and providers, including genetic testing for cancer. Our technology helps to identify and prevent potentially life-threatening conditions. Contact us today to learn more.