Since the late 1800s, the field of immuno-oncology has been exploring the relationship between the immune system and the development, progression, and treatment of cancer. With over a century's worth of discoveries as the guide, the past decade has seen an explosion in the translation of this research into new treatment modalities, often with unprecedented success. Advancements in genomic technologies, like next-generation sequencing (NGS), are helping advance our understanding of interactions between the immune system and cancer, guiding therapeutic development.
Advances in genomic sequencing and data analysis promise to revolutionize healthcare through precision medicine. Identifying individual variations in genes and correlating them to known outcomes and phenotypes allows for disease susceptibility, prediction of response to medications, preventive care, and therapeutic treatment to be more precisely tailored to the individual than ever before. Thanks to technological advances and efficiencies of scale, scientists and clinicians have an increasingly wide array of tools for uncovering genetic variants in patients.
Projects such as the U.S. federal government's Precision Medicine Initiative and the 100,000 Genomes Project (UK), the latter powered by Illumina sequencing technology, are building the evidence base to guide the clinical use of genomic data.
Oncology is at the forefront of precision medicine; already, a number of therapies are assigned based on the molecular and genomic qualities of the type of cancer. We anticipate a day where precisely tailored therapies based on an individual’s unique genetic information will be standard-of-care. We need to ensure that the proper educational efforts in genomic medicine are in place today, in anticipation of the reimbursement and guideline setting activities required in the near future.
A global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based solutions, Illumina is dedicated to improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Serving customers in the research, clinical, and applied markets, Illumina technology is responsible for generating more than 90% of the world’s sequencing data.* Through collaborative innovation, Illumina is fueling groundbreaking advancements in oncology, reproductive health, genetic disease, and beyond. By empowering large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function, Illumina is enabling studies that were not imaginable just a few years ago, moving us closer to the realization of precision medicine.
*Data calculations on file. Illumina, Inc., 2015.
Download this poster from The Scientist, sponsored by Illumina, Inc., to learn more about therapeutic advances in immune-oncology!