Background: Next Generation Sequencing is one of the latest advances in molecular testing and clinical laboratory applications. Next Generation Sequencing techniques involving liquid biopsies are emerging as important tools in cancer diagnostics and prognostics. Thus, integration of liquid biopsy studies into clinical laboratory applications has become a necessity. By virtue of liquid biopsies, determining potential treatment targets through metastasis and primary tumor sites in the right clinical context can result in a more comprehensive treatment. This also helps to overcome re-sampling difficulties which require an invasive procedure with the problem of tumor heterogeneity. As the literature involving liquid biopsies and next generation sequencing increases, the rate of laboratories with competencies and experience in this novel technology remains limited.
Methods: Next generation sequencing was performed via a comprehensive multi-gene cancer panel (Actionable In-sight Solid Tumor Panel, Qiagen) consisting of 12 solid tumor related genes (EGFR, ALK, KRAS, PIK3CA, NRAS, PDGFRA, KIT, ERBB2, ERBB3, ESR1, BRAF and RAF1) from lung cancer patients who applied or were referred to CU AGENTEM (Cukurova University Adana Genetic Diseases Diagnosis and Treatment Center) for routine genetic testing.
Results: A modified next generation sequencing workflow was performed with a multi-gene solid tumor panel using liquid biopsies in comparison with formalin fixed paraffin embedded samples to integrate this technique into the routine clinical laboratory applications and bioinformatics. In this study, next generation sequencing of liquid biopsies in cancer patients was integrated into cancer diagnostics.
Conclusions: Liquid biopsy studies provide numerous advantages when integrated with next generation sequencing through a well-optimized workflow.