Impact of Next-Generation Sequencing and Devices on the Evolution of Oncology

12 Jul 2022

Owing to the remarkable advancements in technology, research, and development in the healthcare sector, the field of oncology is constantly evolving. In recent years, innovation in oncology has been witnessed across various areas, such as advanced surgical oncology devices, radiation oncology devices, chemotherapy, next-generation sequencing cancer diagnostics, and other next generation therapeutics. 

Over the last decade, next-generation sequencing (NGS) has become increasingly popular in genomics studies. Technical advances in genome sequencing have led to the implementation of NGS in clinical oncology, and it has emerged as a valuable tool. 

New biomarkers, cancer mutations, identifying carriers of cancer mutations, and obtaining specialized treatments are just a few of the strategies enabled by NGS technology to boost cancer treatment. It has also increased the possibility of lowering medical expenses by systematically including the standard treatment options for cancer and other diseases in prevention and prognosis. 

Currently, NGS can help with early diagnosis and the discovery of pharmacogenetic markers that aid in more individualized treatments. Despite significant advancements in gene comprehension, the NGS provides the additional advantage of offering a wider perspective on the disease site and identifying approaches to treat cancer. 

Through unparalleled access to large-scale genomic and transcriptome data, NGS technologies have revolutionized the field of cancer genetics. Numerous effective applications associating mutations or polymorphisms with individual tumor responses to medicines have been developed because of the curation of cancer genetic profiles. 

Next-generation sequencing technology has proved to be extremely beneficial in oncology at various stages. From research and development to enabling molecular diagnosis and targeted therapies, the application of NGS is countless.

This has led to a substantial increase in investments in the number of panels or kits, bioinformatics services for computational analysis, and open-source free sequencing platform providers offering NGS oncology. All these factors are expected to contribute to the growth of the global NGS oncology market. 

According to the BIS Research analysis, the global NGS oncology market is projected to reach $51,783.0 million in 2032 from 14,828.6 million in 2021, witnessing a CAGR of 12.04% during the forecast period 2022-2032. 


Along with the NGS technology, the next-generation oncology devices are another technological support that has immensely impacted the evolution of oncology. With the increasing prevalence of cancer cases globally, there has been a significant rise in the demand for advanced software solutions, minimally invasive surgical devices, and advanced diagnostic and treatment devices in oncology. 

Due to these factors, the global next-generation oncology devices and solutions market is growing substantially. According to the BIS Research analysis, the market was valued at $3,268.2 million in 2021 and is expected to reach $5,971.3 million by the end of 2031. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.41% during the forecast period 2022-2031.

Technological Advancements Leading to Rapid Growth of NGS Innovations in Oncology

Advances in genetic analysis and testing technology have the potential to enhance the diagnosis and treatment procedures for cancer patients. Companies are creating new products and boosting their efforts to fulfill the growing demand for NGS. The first generation of DNA sequencing technologies was introduced in 1977. Since then, sequencing technology has significantly advanced, from the first generation to the third generation NGS. 

All technological advancements have a substantial impact on how genomic research, clinical illness research, and development evolve. The development of next-generation sequencing technology has significantly aided in conducting efficient and organized genomics research. For instance, in the study of the interaction of protein-deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and transcriptome profiling, sequential-based strategies such as chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq) and ribonucleic acid sequencing (RNA-Seq) have started to replace microarray research.


The development of NGS technology has also enabled fast and effective completion of all genetic mutations. NGS technology's greatest strength is its extremely high productivity, which is reflected in the sequence of DNA fragments, which generates one billion bases (nucleotides) sequence data on the use of an instrument per run. The NGS technology has also proved to be more cost-effective than the conventional Sanger sequencing method.

The creation of effective, portable, and simple-to-use NGS trackers to provide quicker and more accurate results while also shortening transition times has been made possible by ongoing advancements in tracking technology. Major firms are increasingly focused on investing in research activities to develop new products to strengthen their positions in this market that is experiencing rapid expansion because such advancements frequently put producers in competition. 

For instance, Singular Genomics Systems, Inc. commercially released its G4 platform in December 2021. It is a potent benchtop sequencer with a brand-new engine that is highly effective and has advanced engineering to provide accuracy, flexibility, speed, and power for a variety of applications, such as cancer and immunology research. 

Latest Next-Generation Therapeutics Enhancing Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis Procedure

In the fight against cancer, advanced technologies to strengthen the immune system and control cancer cells are enabling physicians to make this disease more curable. 


Four technologies that are currently at the center of revolutionizing the way cancer is treated are customized vaccines, cell therapy, gene editing, and microbiome therapies. These have been explained as follows:

1.    Personalized Therapeutics: Genetic changes that turn healthy cells into tumor cells are the root cause of cancer. Though they can vary greatly in each tumor, these mutations are frequently at the core of novel cancer therapy.

The experts can find numerous cancer mutations and choose the ones that are most likely to elicit a potent immune response by comparing the DNA sequences of the tumor and healthy cells. The vaccines are administered as messenger RNA, a chemical that instructs cells to produce a certain protein, in this case, a cancer antigen that prepares the immune system to recognize the tumor.

The personalized vaccines efficiently deliver the message rather than changing human DNA. Another benefit is that producing messenger RNA is less expensive than creating new cancer treatments like cell therapy.

2.    Cell Therapy: Immunotherapy techniques like T-cell transfer therapy enable the body's immune system to attack cancer cells more effectively. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) therapy and CAR T-cell therapy are the two main varieties of T-cell transfer therapy. Both procedures entail taking a person’s own immune cells, boosting their quantity in a lab, and then returning the cells to the body via an IV. Adoptive cell treatment, adoptive immunotherapy, and immune cell therapy are additional names for T-cell transfer therapy.

The advanced cell therapy trials have shown impressive results in patients compared to the other treatment options. However, the technology has also shown some severe side effects. Therefore, the mass use of this therapy is currently under probe. 

3.    Gene Editing Technology: Cancer research has made substantial use of the adaptable gene-editing technique CRISPR/Cas9. The technology has seen a rapid expansion in use because of its high adaptability and efficacy since it was initially used as a genome-editing tool in mammalian cells in 2013. 

CRISPR/Cas9 has been extensively employed in various applications and research, such as the development of cancer models, the confirmation of critical genes as druggable targets, the study of drug resistance mechanisms, and the thorough understanding of the role of gene non-coding areas. 

Combining CRISPR/Cas9 and cancer immunotherapy are two ground-breaking advancements in cancer research and treatment that might enable immunotherapy to treat more cancer patients.

4.    Microbiome Cancer Treatment: Cancer has been linked to the gut microbiota, and studies have shown that it can affect how well anti-cancer drugs work. Changes in the gut microbiota are linked to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) or chemo drug resistance, whereas the addition of specific bacterial species has proven to improve the effectiveness of anti-cancer medications.

A growing body of research has shown that altering the gut flora may improve the effectiveness of anti-cancer medications. Despite the important results from preclinical models and clinical data of cancer patients, deeper comprehension of the interactions of the microbiota with cancer therapy aids researchers in identifying novel strategies for cancer prevention, stratifying patients for more effective treatment, and minimizing side effects of treatment.

Conclusion

With the rising prevalence of cancer cases across the globe, the healthcare industry is relying heavily on advanced technologies such as NGS and next-generation oncology devices and solutions. It comprises devices and software leveraging emerging technologies to aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of various types of cancer. 

 
 

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