Every day, medical professionals work tirelessly to advance cancer research with a common goal of improving patient outcomes and fighting a disease that claimed nearly 590,000 lives in the United States in 2015. With approximately 14.5 million Americans currently undergoing treatment for cancer or having been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases expected in the upcoming year, it is time to strive for continued research and advancement.
Molecular testing of tumors is just one of the more recent advancements that is shaping the strategies used to treat cancer. These innovative technologies provide a molecular portrait of any given cancer and allow physicians to determine the basic tumor characteristics and the potential for specific drug responsiveness.
OmniSeq℠ is one of the many companies advancing molecular profiling and cancer treatment strategies. We, along with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, are collaborating with determined individuals and organizations that are making exceptional progress toward achieving better outcomes for cancer patients.
Get the statistics and learn more about how the cancer community is making progress.
Resources and Associations
American Society of Clinical Oncology
National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute – MATCH
National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Journal of Oncology
Journal of Personalized Medicine
News and Case Studies
Impact of Precision Medicine in Diverse Cancers: A Meta-Analysis of Phase II Clinical Trials
NCI-MATCH Trial Will Link Targeted Cancer Drugs to Gene Abnormalities
NCI-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice
With molecular profiling of tumors leading to better, more targeted treatment options, a complex terminology has evolved. Here you will find key terminology to help you better understand the basics of molecular testing your tumor.
An allele is one of two or more forms of the DNA sequence of a particular gene. Different DNA sequences (alleles) can result in different traits, such as color of skin, hair, or eyes. If both alleles are the same, the person is termed a homozygote. If the alleles are different, the person is a heterozygote.
Amplification of DNA is a process in which the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is repeated for a number of cycles or rapidly changing temperatures to exponentially increase the number of copies of a specific target region of a gene.
A biological property or substance(s) that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. A biomarker is used to determine how patients respond to treatments.
The use of clinical tests to inform clinical decision making. The area includes both tests conducted on specimens from the body (ie, in vitro diagnostics) and imaging tests (eg, in vivo diagnostics), for the purpose of disease prediction, screening, diagnosis, treatment selection, prognosis, and monitoring.
DNA is the acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid, the code used within cells to form proteins. In cells, DNA usually exists as two long intertwined chains twisted into a double helix and joined by hydrogen bonds between the complementary bases adenine and thymine or cytosine and guanine. The chains are composed on nucleotides (a combination of any one of the nucleic acid sequence of nucleotides in DNA determines individual hereditary characteristics).
A hereditary unit consisting of a sequence of DNA that occupies a specific location on a chromosome and determines a particular characteristic in an organism. Genes undergo mutation when their DNA sequence changes during cell division.
A type of test that is used to determine the presence or absence of a specific gene or set of genes to help diagnose a disease, screen for specific health conditions, predict course of disease, predict the best course of treatment, and for other purposes.
Short insertions and deletions of the genome.
In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD)
In vitro diagnostic products are those reagents, instruments, and systems intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, including a determination of the state of health, in order to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease or its sequelae. Such products are intended for use in the collection, preparation, and examination of specimens taken from the human body.
A microarray is a multiplex lab-on-a-chip. It is a 2D array on a solid substrate (usually a glass slide or silicon thin-film cell) that assays large amounts of biological material using high-throughput screening methods.
Diagnostic tests that identify a disease, predisposition for a disease, or progress in treating a disease by detecting specific molecules such as DNA, antibodies, and proteins.
A method of genetic testing to assess an individual’s cancer tumor and its genetic characteristics, and unique biomarkers. Information provided by molecular profiling is used to identify and create more effective and targeted cancer therapies.
Next generation sequencing (NGS), massively parallel or deep sequencing are related terms that describe a DNA sequencing technology which has revolutionized genomic research. Using NGS, an entire human genome can be sequenced within a single day. In contrast, the previous Sanger sequencing technology used to decipher the human genome, required over a decade to deliver the final draft.
In molecular biology and genetics, mutations are changes in a genomic sequence: the DNA sequence of a cell’s genome or the DNA or RNA sequence of a virus. Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses, and mutagenic chemicals, as well as errors that occur during DNA replication. Mutation can result in several different types of change in DNA sequences; these can have either no effect, alter the product of a gene, or prevent the gene from functioning properly or completely. Due to the damaging effects that mutations can have on genes, organisms have mechanisms such as DNA repair to remove mutations.
Nucleic acids are any of various complex organic acids (eg, DNA or RNA) that are composed of nucleotide chains.
Nucleotides are any of several compounds that consist of a ribose or deoxyribose sugar joined to a purine or pyrimidine base (adenosine, cytosine, thymidine, guanine, or uracil), and to a phosphate group, and that are the basic structural units of nucleic acids (such as RNA and DNA).
The existence of a gene in several allelic forms of >1% frequency; also: a variation in a specific DNA sequence.
RNA is an acronym for ribonucleic acid. RNA is a chain of alternating phosphate and ribose units with the bases adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil bonded to the ribose. RNA molecules are usually single stranded and involved in protein synthesis.
The technique used to map out the sequence of the nucleotides that comprise a strand of DNA.