Every tumour shows a different constellation of genetic changes (mutations). The information about these mutations, which can be obtained through DNA sequencing, is playing an increasingly important role in both the diagnosis and treatment of cancers (prognostically and predictively for the treatment decision).
Two main sequencing methods are used: Sanger sequencing and next-generation sequencing (NGS).
Histological slides/blocks, cytological preparations and fresh tissue can be used for both methods.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS)
Nowadays, it is possible to detect all relevant mutations within a short time through the parallel sequencing of several genes on the tumour DNA and RNA, using high-throughput sequencing (so-called next-generation sequencing, or NGS). In particular, NGS makes it possible to conduct targeted DNA- and RNA-based sequencing for the simultaneous detection of clinically relevant mutations, copy number variations and fusion transcripts. It can also be used for small biopsies with low tumour cell content. This method produces robust results in routine diagnostics and meets modern requirements for treatment stratification.
Sanger sequencing is one of the classic methods of DNA sequencing that makes it possible to determine the base order of short sequences of a specific gene. In tumour diagnostics, DNA sequences of sick patients are compared with DNA sequences of healthy individuals to identify mutated DNA sequences in the tumour.
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