What is Next-generation Sequencing (NGS)? | Take2 Health

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What is Next-generation Sequencing (NGS)?

What is Next-generation Sequencing?

NGS (Next-generation Sequencing) is a powerful tool that utilises the high-throughput and massively parallel sequencing approach, which has greatly improved sequencing efficiency while maintaining a high level of accuracy.The first-generation sequencing (Sanger sequencing) can only sequence a single DNA fragment at a time, while NGS can sequence and analyse hundreds to thousands of genes simultaneously, this allows scientists to rapidly obtain results that cover the entire human genome.

Compared to the first-generation sequencing, NGS has a significantly higher sequencing throughput and sequencing speed. This has made the whole genome sequencing process less expensive and time-consuming, reducing the cost from nearly 30 billion USD to about 1000 USD and the time required from 10 years to just 1 day. Besides, NGS has a higher sensitivity, which allows new or rare mutations within the target region of the genome to be detected by deep sequencing. Therefore, NGS can perform complex analysis that is beyond the capacity of the first-generation sequencing. For example, performing a large-scale whole-genome sequencing to analyse a complete human genome, or using transcriptome sequencing for mRNA, miRNA expression and RNA splicing analysis.

With the ultra-high throughput, scalability and speed offered by NGS, a wide range of applications can now be performed by scientists to study biological systems at an unprecedented level. Results generated from NGS can be combined with genomic data and bioinformatic studies to provide useful information for diseases and population-wide genomic research. Clinical applications of NGS include sequencing cancer samples to study rare somatic mutations, analysing epigenetic factors and revealing disease-related alleles.
how do we use ngs

How Does the Take2 Prophecy™ Test for NPC Work?

The Take2 Prophecy™ Test for NPC detects human and NPC-associated genomic signatures of EBV DNA in the bloodstream with a combination of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Next-generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies. With the help of advanced algorithms, NPC can be accurately detected at a significantly earlier stage such that patients can receive more timely and effective treatment to increase chances of survival³.

Limitations of Identifying NPC Through Tissue Biopsy

Tissue biopsy is the gold standard of NPC diagnosis. To diagnose NPC by means of tissue biopsy, a trained medical practitioner (usually Ear, Nose and Throat specialist) would perform a nasoendoscopy to take out tissue samples from the nasopharynx. The body tissues will be examined for NPC changes under the microscope. However, tissue biopsy has some limitations. It is an invasive medical procedure and might not be suitable to perform on every single part of the body. During a tissue biopsy, only a small section of tissue is removed; this section may not represent the heterogeneity of the tumor. A tissue biopsy can be difficult to repeat and impractical to be used as a periodical monitoring of disease progression. Furthermore, patients with coagulation disorder might encounter a higher risk of bleeding during such an invasive procedure.
traditional ebv test

Are the Traditional EBV Tests Reliable for Identifying NPC?

Other than undergoing nasoendoscopy and tissue samples examination, traditional EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus) tests are commonly used for identifying NPC as EBV is highly associated with NPC. EBV Serology test, and EBV DNA test which adopt PCR technology to determine the EBV DNA quantity in blood plasma, are the common types of traditional EBV tests. However, EBV infection is prevalent, the presence of EBV antibodies or DNA may represent merely a transient infection more than reflecting NPC status. These traditional EBV tests cannot confidently differentiate patients with EBV infection from NPC patients.

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