Significant Gap in Genetic Testing Among Cancer Patients

Despite 90% of patients who participated in a TrialJectory survey acknowledging importance of genetic testing, less than half have undergone next-generation sequencing.

Results from a survey highlighting that, while an overwhelming majority of cancer patients surveyed (90%) understand the importance of genetic testing for achieving better clinical outcomes, less than half (46%) reported having undergone Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), a genetic test used to identify novel cancer mutations and familial cancer mutation carriers.

This survey was conducted by TrialJectory an AI-powered, decision-making platform that connects cancer patients to advanced treatment options and helps to accelerate clinical research timelines.

“While the healthcare industry preaches the power of precision medicine, the reality is that access to advanced treatments remains largely out of reach for many cancer patients, simply because they don’t undergo Next-Generation Sequencing, a U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines recommendation,” said Tzvia Bader, Co-Founder and TrialJectory CEO. “For the medical community to be true patient advocates, it needs to empower patients and their families to make more informed decisions. This begins with facilitating easy access to genetic testing. Now is the time to remove the artificial barriers currently standing in the way of providing cancer patients with the access they need to take advantage of advanced precision medicine.”

NGS testing is used to advance personalized cancer treatment and has proven in recent years to be a sound method for effectively capturing a large amount of genomic information about cancer.

This testing can shed significant light on complex treatment decisions to put patients on the right treatment courses based on their unique genomic makeup. This, in turn, leads to better clinical outcomes.

However, despite the fact that NGS data capabilities can drive better outcomes, there is a clear lack of emphasis from the healthcare industry to actively recommend and encourage patients to undergo this testing.

“With all of the advancements that have been made with precision medicine, specifically within cancer, it is unconscionable for the healthcare industry to stand in the way of patients gaining access to lifesaving treatments,” Bader continued. “The COVID pandemic has proven both the need for, and increasing demand of, patients to control their own cancer journey. By allowing access to genetic testing, we will ultimately save lives. NGS testing empowers physicians and patients to make more informed decisions relevant to specific diagnoses and courses of treatment to achieve better outcomes.”