Resequence

November 17, 2020

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Anchor lead: Should cancers be sequenced again if they recur? Elizabeth Tracey reports

When cancers recur, they are genetically different from when they were first detected, especially after many treatments. With evidence from a new federal study of tumor sequencing clearly demonstrating its benefit, William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says sequencing recurrent cancer may also be helpful.

Nelson: As cancers appear and are treated and improve and relapse or regress even after initial improvement oftentimes that’s because of a sort of a genetic instability, they acquire new and different defects. Those defects favor the cancer growing even despite the treatment that may have been effective before. It’s very plausible that as we learn more and more about it, is that at that occasion, you’ve responded to surgery for a long time, your cancer comes back, is this a time to re-sequence it?  :30

Nelson notes that sequencing is both easier and less expensive than ever. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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