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Closing the Cancer Care Gap with the Power of Precision Oncology

Release date:2024-02-04Writer:MGIViews:1363Share

According to American Cancer Society, Cancer causes about 1 in every 6 deaths globally, more than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Today, it is the first or second leading cause of death in most countries around the world. Technological advances in genomics have enabled the identification and improved understanding of causal factors and shed light on precision oncology.

February 4 marks World Cancer Day, an initiative aimed at promoting awareness on cancer as a public health issue and improving access to quality care, screening, early detection, therapy, and palliative care for those affected.

In this new era in precision oncology, researchers like Dr. Marie-Laure Yaspo from ALACRIS Theranostics (“ALACRIS”) and Dr. Xuan Gao and Dr.Huan Fang from GenePlus are working towards closing the care gap with evidence-based strategies in cancer control along the care continuum, from prevention to treatment, with help from MGI’s cutting-edge life science technologies.

ALACRIS innovates with its advanced tumor-agnostic molecular diagnostic test augmenting tailored treatment options

At ALACRIS Theranostics in Germany, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Marie-Laure Yaspo and her team are committed to provide every cancer patient with the highest standard of care through the Comprehensive Molecular Cancer Analysis (CMTA), a unique molecular diagnostic test designed to identify the best personalized treatment options for each patient, based on high-throughput sequencing of the exome (or genome) and transcriptome of their tumor.

“From past research in cancer genomics projects, we learned how complex and unique the molecular landscape of every tumor can be,” said Dr. Yaspo as she recalled her 12+ years in molecular genetics prior to establishing ALACRIS. “Only by collecting comprehensive information on the tumor landscape can we further develop and enhance personalized therapy.”

“Every patient is unique, every tumor is different,” added Dr. Yaspo. To capture this individuality, the CMTA technology integrates two layers of sequence data, DNA (genome or exome) and RNA (transcriptome), for a comprehensive analysis of the clinically relevant alterations in every tumor.

In addition to mutations and chromosome copy number alterations, key features such as gene fusions, overexpressed oncogenes, immune microenvironment, and more provide essential information for the evaluation of the best therapeutic options.

“Starting from a tumor biopsy, the end-to-end Alacris-CMTA® process generates high-throughput sequencing data with MGI’s highly accurate and reliable platforms and deploys Alacris’s advanced bioinformatics analysis pipelines to deliver a comprehensive, interpreted tumor profiling report,” said Dr. Yaspo. “We interprete actionable alterations and match those with drug databases”, delivered a concise report guiding oncologists to design personalized therapies. The CMTA® fits the patient’s journey, and is particularly well suited for patients with refractory or rare cancers in need of treatment options.  to improve their outcome.”

Back in 2022, MGI launched a Customer Experience Center at ALACRIS’s Berlin-based facility

equipped with MGI’s DNBSEQ-G400* sequencer, MGISP-960 automation system and more. Not long after, in 2023, a new DNBSEQ-T7* sequencer was installed to further support the facility’s sequencing needs, including pediatric leukemias.

(MGI’s Customer Experience Center at ALACRIS’s Berlin-based facility)

“The time that patients have is limited and precious. The faster we get sequencing samples analyzed, the sooner they can receive personalized treatment,” said Dr. Yaspo. “MGI platforms’ high flexibility and quick turnaround enable us to provide reliable diagnostics for a large number of patients. Its cost-effectiveness also makes it easier for more people to benefit from affordable and

accessible cancer services, thereby contributing to better healthcare.”

GenePlus’ NGS total solution helps match cancer patients to precise therapy

Meanwhile in China, the team at GenePlus, including Dr. Xuan Gao and Dr. Huan Fang, Assistant Directors of the company’s Genomics Institute, has been studying tumor detection and intervention to help clinicians determine the safest and most effective treatment for cancer patients through clinical and scientific research.

“Having witnessed the pain and torment of someone close who suffered from cancer, I was determined to devote myself to cancer precision medicine,” said Dr. Gao. “In the 6+ years

I’ve been in the field, high-throughput sequencing technology has rapidly promoted the development of tumor genomics research, giving us a better understanding of the genetic characteristics and molecular mechanisms of tumors, and thereby providing new targets and combination therapy options to alleviate patients’ suffering.”

Given the inherent complexity and heterogeneity of cancer, as well as its risks of genetic mutation, tumors are constantly evolving, which leads to drug resistance during treatment. Although the stratification of patients has been refined, there still lacks specific, tailor-made therapy options. At the same time, many advances in the field have yet to reach the masses due to high costs and insufficient clinical trial design and data. “MGI’s technology plays a critical role in helping us expanding precise tumor tests and genome-driven drug strategies for patients, including those who currently cannot use targeted therapy,” added Dr. Gao.

(MGI’s DNBSEQ-T7* was installed in GenePlus’ lab)

The GenePlus NGS total solution, which includes certified kits, library workshops, genetic sequencers, and the GeneBox informatic platform, facilitates faster, simpler and more reliable cancer sequencing. Benefitting from DNBSEQ’s high quality, accuracy and cost-effectiveness, the solution creates a pipeline of tumor precision medication, whole-process case, and pathogen detection. To date, it has been deployed in more than 30 key hospitals in China, where it is applied to the analysis of tumors and pathogens, serving over 550,000 patients in need of accurate diagnosis and treatment.

“Based on MGI’s DNBSEQ technology, our solution has low amplification error rate and high data

utilization rate, which are crucial for ultra-deep sequencing of low-concentration or low-quality oncology samples,” said Dr. Fang. “We leverage this for targeting and immunotherapy guidance in advanced patients and drug sensitivity prediction and cancer minimum residual disease monitoring.”

The development of precision oncology has transformed how we approach the cancer care continuum – from prevention to detection, to diagnosis and treatment – for patients who are not

only looking to survive but also to do so with an optimal quality of life. Supported by MGI, both CMTA® by ALACRIS and the GenePlus NGS total solution are laying the foundation for precise cancer control and ensuring all patients can enjoy effective, reliable, and affordable care for improved outcomes.

About MGI

MGI Tech Co. Ltd. (or its subsidiaries, together referred to MGI), headquartered in Shenzhen, is committed to building core tools and technology to lead life science through intelligent innovation. Based on its proprietary technology, MGI focuses on research & development, production and sales of sequencing instruments, reagents, and related products to support life science research,

agriculture, precision medicine and healthcare. MGI is a leading producer of clinical high-throughput gene sequencers, and its multi-omics platforms include genetic sequencing, medical imaging, and laboratory automation. MGI's mission is to develop and promote advanced life science tools for future healthcare. For more information, please visit the MGI website or connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

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