Can you imagine that a Guinness world record could be related to genetic sequencing and disease diagnosis? A world record for fastest genetic diagnosis was recently set by Dr. Stephen Kingsmore, president and CEO of Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. Dr. Kingsmore is able to successfully diagnose critically ill newborns in just 26 hours.
With continued efforts in developing and optimizing new technologies, Dr. Kinsmore and his team managed to significantly cut the time needed for gene sequencing and data analysis for acutely ill babies whose disease have to be diagnosed as fast as possible to allow the doctors to start treatment quickly.
This Guinness record is not only good news for acutely ill babies, but it also raises the bar for the speed of genetic testing and data analysis for other life threatening diseases, such as cancers.
With more drugs that can target specific cancer mutations are developed and available to patients, genetic testing aimed to identify the drug targets, namely cancer-driving genes and mutations, is becoming increasingly important. Fast testing and quick data analysis on tumor samples are critical to the success of treatment and anticipated by both cancer patients and doctors.
In most cases today, a highly experienced genetic testing laboratory should be able to finish the test on tumor samples and send a report with clinically actionable information back to the doctor in 7-10 business days. If needed, you should talk to your doctor and carefully check on the quality of a genetic testing laboratory before sending out the tumor samples for testing.
Michael Wang, MD, PhD, Strategic Alliance Officer, NFCR