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Nonacus Products: Cell3 Target: Oncology
Next Generation Sequencing has dramatically improved the flexibility and outcomes of cancer research and clinical trials, providing highly sensitive and accurate high-throughput platforms for large-scale genomic testing. In contrast to whole-genome (WGS) or whole-exome sequencing (WES), targeted genomic sequencing (TS) focuses on a panel of genes or targets known to have strong associations with pathogenesis of disease and/or clinical relevance, offering greater sequencing depth with reduced costs and data burden. This allows targeted sequencing to identify low frequency variants in targeted regions with high confidence, thus suitable for profiling low-quality and fragmented clinical DNA samples. As a result, TS has been widely used in clinical research and trials for patient stratification and the development of targeted therapeutics. However, its transition to routine clinical use has been slow. Many technical and analytical obstacles still remain and need to be discussed and addressed before large-scale and cross-centre implementation. Gold-standard and state-of-the-art procedures and pipelines are urgently needed to accelerate this transition. In this review we first present how TS is conducted in cancer research, including various target enrichment platforms, the construction of target panels, and selected research and clinical studies utilising TS to profile clinical samples. We then present a generalised analytical workflow for TS data discussing important parameters and filters in detail, aiming to provide the best practices of TS usage and analyses.