J Korean Med Assoc.  2019 Feb;62(2):119-129. 10.5124/jkma.2019.62.2.119.

Next generation sequencing and anti-cancer therapy

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. oncosohn@yuhs.ac

Abstract

Over the last two decades, the systemic treatment of cancer has evolved from cytotoxic chemotherapy to targeted therapy and now immunotherapy. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is entering clinical applications for cancer treatment through the help of more powerful computational analyses. The increasing number of targeted therapies approved by regulatory authorities (RAs) with or without biomarkers necessitates the screening of multiple biomarkers using NGS, which is now approved and reimbursed by Korean RAs for some types of malignancies. However, the clinical utility of NGS remains to be established as a prerequisite for its routine incorporation into clinical practice. Currently, the best scenario of NGS use in clinics is to enroll patients into clinical trials based on the detection of biomarkers, but this is only possible in the hospitals conducting the specific trial. The other scenario is the off-label use of a targeted drug, but this requires social consensus for future implementation. The clinical applications of NGS are expanding in terms of its platforms, from targeted sequencing to whole exome and RNA sequencing, and in terms of systemic therapy, from targeted therapy to immunotherapy. Research into tumor mutational burden and neoantigens is shedding new light on the clinical use of NGS in immunotherapy.

Keyword

Next generation sequencing; Cancer; Targeted therapy; Immunotherapy

MeSH Terms

Biomarkers
Consensus
Drug Therapy
Exome
Humans
Immunotherapy
Mass Screening
Off-Label Use
Sequence Analysis, RNA
Biomarkers
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