The Emerging Clinical Relevance Of Genomics In Cancer Treatment

Amit Chopra, Managing Director, India and Middle East, Thermo Fisher ScientificIndia has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing pharmaceutical markets. Increased research and development initiatives have transformed the way we combat deadly diseases into manageable chronic conditions, providing a boost to biopharma and biotech companies. In addition, a large and diverse patient base, low costs and growth of other ancillary organizations like clinical trial supply (CTS) companies, life science logistics companies, clinical trial data management companies and clinical research organizations (CROs) have also contributed to the growth of the clinical trials market in India.

Over the past few years, the application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to large-scale cancer genomics discovery has revealed extraordinary new information about the underlying genomic drivers of cancer development and progression across multiple anatomical locations. The combination of next-generation sequencing and advanced computational data analysis approaches has revolutionized our understanding of the genomic underpinnings of cancer development and progression. With
personalized medicines replacing the dated one-size-fit-all approach, researchers are diving deep into the biological nature of the ailments to offer a more targeted patient-centric therapy. Genomics-based assays, NGS and various analytical approaches are now increasingly being used to guide the selection of the most appropriate targeted therapies for patients by providing clinical advantage in terms of improved patient outcomes. The development of targeted small molecule and antibody-based therapies that target a cancer’s genomic dependencies has fueled the transition of genomic assays into clinical use in patients with cancer.

Unprecedented developments in genomics research and ancillary technologies are creating the potential for astonishing changes in both the healthcare and the life sciences sector. While the industry is poised to grow at an accelerated pace, the pharmaceutical industry is going through a phase of cautious optimism. Increasing competition from low-cost countries, the need for end-to end and secure supply chain management, quality concerns and regulatory delays in clinical trials have significantly impacted the growth of the CRO industry.

As the relevance of genomics in clinical studies advances, biological materials, whether research samples, active pharmaceutical ingredients, cell lines or vaccines, will require critical and specialized care. There is a well-defined need for comprehensive clinical trials supply chain management to ensure end-to-end integrity of materials, offer unmatched technical know-how and expertise that can ultimately improve the ability to predict the most effective therapies for patients in a scalable manner.

Precision medicine is at the forefront of innovation in cancer care. With the development of clinical genomics in cancer care gaining traction, the ability to harness the exponential increase in the data generated for each patient diagnosed with cancer and inclusion of a seamless clinical trial management, will serve to establish a robust and agile quality organization that will further augment our understanding of cancer vulnerabilities. In doing so we can make treatments more personalized, predictive and preventive.