The role of NGS in stratified cancer medicine

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Clinical research laboratories are increasingly adopting Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) assays to assist them in the analysis of cancer samples. Undoubtedly, NGS has an extremely important role to play in personalised medicine; however, with advances in technology come new challenges. In this white paper, two Clinical Scientists, Dr Matthew Smith and Dr George Burghel, share their views on the use of NGS in cancer genomics and its integration into the laboratory.

George Burghel and Matthew Smith


Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths per year.1 One challenge to overcome in the treatment of cancer is its high level of inherent genetic complexity and heterogeneity. Characterising the genetic profile of each individual tumour can therefore help guide the delivery of effective treatment strategies, and this approach of stratified or personalised medicine is driven by the latest advances in genetic technologies.

Due to the success of research efforts over recent years, the application of these technologies in cancer research is shifting, particularly with regards to the rising popularity of next generation sequencing (NGS). As this technique evolves, falling costs and increasing accessibility have led to its increased uptake. To better understand where we are in its current integration into the clinical laboratory, NHS Clinical Scientists Dr Matthew Smith and Dr George Burghel discuss the strengths of this approach and factors to consider for its application, as well as the challenges faced.


  1. Cancer, 2015. Available from: . [11 February 2015] 


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