Hospital 57357 acquires an up-dated version of the sequencer ”NextSeq 550” to analyze genes and help determining the most effective treatment

Hospital 57357 acquires an up-dated version of the sequencer ”NextSeq 550” to analyze genes and help determining the most effective treatment

Within its pursuit to acquire latest diagnostic and treatment technology to offer its patient better chances of recovery, Hospital 57357 acquired a new sequencer, “NextSeq 550”, that is able to analyze a big number of genes at the same time. The new equipment will be used in the lab and in research as well.

In an interview with Dr. Sherine Salem, Head of the Cytogenetics Lab, she explains the function of the new equipment: The genetic code, or genome, consist of many letters and the sequencer reads each of them several times looking for mutations. We used to analyze very few number of genes per test with the old equipment.  With the NextSeq 550  we can analyze thousands of genes and we can even analyze all the protein coding genes( exome testing) at the same time. Using this approach we can study the genetic landscape of cancer patients and consequently guide tailored treatment options; what is known as “personalized medicine”.

According to Dr. Salem about 5% to 10% of cancer patients have hereditary cancer predisposition due to the presence of gene variants that predispose to malignancy, and these variants may be found in more than one family member. NextSeq 550 helps us identify those variants and if we find gene variant in the patient, we test the rest of the family as they may be more susceptible to develop cancer.

Dr. Salem shared with us that patients having developmental disorders, cognitive disorders, metabolic, renal and other congenital disorders can also be diagnosed either by gene panel testing or whole exome testing.

Having this device enables us to diagnose genetic causes of cancer and other diseases as well, through a wide range of sequencing services at accessible price and rapid turnaround time.

“Chatting with Dr. Ahmed A. Sayed, head of genomics research program regarding using the new equipment “Nextseq 550” in research, he explains that genome research should help decrease the rate of cancer incidence in the future. Genome science is one of the genetic science branches that is concerned with studying the genetic content of the cell. As mutations in cells lead to cancer, Hospital 57357 set up a specialized unit for genome researche. The department’s main role is to study genes and its relation to cancer, as many cancer types develop because of a hereditary factor.

The unit’s scope of work lies on two axes, the first is concerned with research that  attempts to boost diagnosis by screening mutation associated to or can lead to cancer. The second axis deals with studies that seek to unravel genetic codes of multi drug- resistant bacteria that influence clinical outcome of pediatric cancer patients, screening of cancer biomarkers and trace genetic background of implications of chemotherapy treatment in cancer .

Recent advances in next generation sequencing (NGS) have revolutionized diagnostics research. NGS has increased our knowledge of cancer biology, inherited diseases and aided the discovery of germline variation. These insights are changing the way clinicians treat different diseases, allowing for more personalized and effective treatment options as well as improving methods for monitoring treatment and occurrence. The new sequencer “Nextseq 550” that recently added to the genomics program shall significantly unleash our sequencing capabilities and allow us to easily uncover human transcriptomic profile, whole exome and whole genome sequencing that will help tremendously in cancer diagnosis and treatment.