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4 Key Benefits of Pathology Labs Using Next-Generation Sequencing

Pathology labs have been using next-generation sequencing for a while now to help with diagnostics and research. This technology has many benefits, including improved accuracy, speed, and cost-efficiency. This article will discuss the key benefits of pathology labs using next-generation sequencing.

What is Next-Generation Sequencing?

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a technology used to sequence DNA or RNA. It is also known as high-throughput sequencing because it can sequence large amounts of DNA or RNA in a short amount of time.

NGS works by first fragmenting the DNA or RNA into small pieces. These pieces are then sequenced using a sequencing machine. The machine reads the sequence of each piece and produces a digital file that a computer can read. It is this digital file that contains information about the DNA or RNA sequence.

What are the Benefits of NGS?

1. Increased Throughput with Sample Multiplexing

Sample multiplexing is when multiple samples are sequenced together in the same sequencing run. This increases the throughput of the sequencing machine and allows more samples to be sequenced in a shorter amount of time. Increased sequencing throughput is important for pathology labs because it allows them to process more samples in a shorter time. Therefore, more patients can be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.

2. High Sensitivity in Detecting Low-Frequency Variants

Next-generation sequencing is more sensitive in detecting low-frequency variants than other methods, such as Sanger sequencing. This is important for pathologists because it allows them to detect rare diseases or mutations that other methods may not detect. For example, NGS can be used to detect variants in the BRCA1 gene that are associated with breast cancer. NGS can play an important role in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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3. Faster Turnaround Times for High Volume of Samples

Another benefit of NGS is that it has shorter turnaround times for high volumes of samples. This is due to the fact that NGS can sequence large amounts of DNA or RNA in a short amount of time. For example, if a pathology lab needs to sequence 1,000 samples, NGS can do this in a few days, whereas Sanger sequencing would take weeks or months to complete. This is important for pathology labs because it allows them to provide faster results to their patients.

4. Reduced Costs

NGS is also more cost-effective than other methods, such as Sanger sequencing. This is because NGS can sequence large amounts of DNA or RNA in a short amount of time, which reduces the overall cost per sample. In addition, the cost of NGS machines has been dropping over the past few years, making NGS more affordable for pathology labs.

Overall, the key benefits of pathology labs using next-generation sequencing are increased accuracy, speed, and cost-efficiency. This technology can play an essential role in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Hence, it is vital for pathology labs to be aware of the benefits of NGS and how it can be used to improve their services.