October 22, 2020
Tan DS, Tan DS, Tan IBH, Yan B, Choo SP, Chng WJ, Hwang WYK. Recommendations to improve the clinical adoption of NGS-based cancer diagnostics in Singapore. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2020 Aug;16(4):222-231. doi: 10.1111/ajco.13339. Epub 2020 Apr 16. PMID: 32301274; PMCID: PMC7496576
Next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based diagnostics have demonstrated clinical utility in predicting improved survival benefits with targeted treatment in certain cancer types, and positive cost-benefit in several healthcare systems. However, clinical adoption in Singapore remains low despite commercial availability of these diagnostics. This expert opinion review examines the key challenges to the clinical adoption of NGS-based diagnostics in Singapore, provides recommendations on impactful initiatives to improve adoption, and also offers practical guidance on specific cancer types in which NGS-based diagnostics are appropriate for use in Singapore. Limited patient affordability is one major challenge to clinical adoption of NGS-based diagnostics, which could be improved by enabling patient access to more funds for specific cancer types with clear benefits. Expert opinion based on current evidence and clinical experience supports the upfront use of hotspot panels in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), metastatic colorectal cancer, advanced and recurrent ovarian cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia. Comprehensive genomic profiling could be considered for upfront use in select patients with NSCLC and ovarian cancer, or in refractory patients with the four cancer types. Wider adoption of NGS-based diagnostics will improve the delivery of cancer care in Singapore and Asia-Pacific, and thus lead to better patient outcomes.
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