All Patients With GI Cancers Should Undergo NGS

The results of genetic testing could change a patient's treatment regimen.

Genetic alterations could mean different (and more effective) treatment choices for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, according to Tanios S. Bekaii-Saab, MD.

Bekaii-Saab, medical oncologist, and medical director of the Cancer Clinical Research Office, vice chair and section chief of Medical Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine, at Mayo Clinic, said that all patients with GI cancers should undergo next-generation sequencing (NGS), at the very least.


The filed of cancer overall is moving toward more universal next-generation sequencing, and even in some instances, in our institution for example, we try to get even beyond NGS to more whole-genome [sequencing].

Every colon cancer patient, every biliary cancer patient, every gastric patient, and I would argue every [pancreatic] cancer patient, and every GI cancer patient should be screened for alterations through, at least, next-generation sequencing. Why is this important? Well, it's important because of a lot of reasons. One, what's approved, and two, what's being studied.

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