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In a first, GMC Jammu launches genetic testing on NGS technology

March 8, 2024

Jammu: In a first of its kind, the Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu has successfully started genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations on cutting-edge Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology at Government Medical College.

As per officials, as a capacity building in genetic sequencing and to provide the most advanced technology in diagnostics as well as research, NGS was started in oncogenetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes targeting harmful mutations that predispose individuals, or their relatives, to cancer.

“Having a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, by the age of 70, to between 65-85 percent for BRCA1 mutations and between 40-85 percent for BRCA2,” they said.

The officials further added that positive BRCA1 or BRCA2 results allow women to make a choice well in advance about available options that could potentially reduce their risk of developing breast cancer well in advance.

The department will gradually add Human Papillomavirus NGS testing in the second phase, said officials.

With dynamic achievement under the fast-track administrative support of Principal and Dean, Dr Ashutosh Gupta, the Department of Microbiology, GMC Jammu with faculty and scientists trained in Bioinformatics and NGS becomes the first ever Govt. institution in Jammu and Kashmir to start NGS diagnostic testing in the health care sector, they stated.

Officials said that NGS technology has revolutionized cancer genetic testing by offering a deeper understanding of tumor genetics and guiding personalized treatment strategies. It enables simultaneous analysis of multiple genes, enhancing diagnostic accuracy, identifying therapeutic targets, predicting treatment response, and monitoring tumor evolution over time, they said.

“NGS facilitates the detection of rare genetic mutations and allows monitoring of tumor evolution over time. It also aids in the early detection of treatment resistance and guides adjustments in therapy,” the officials said

Dr Sandeep Dogra, Head of the Department of Microbiology at GMC Jammu, said this technology represents the forefront of diagnostics and resources. By identifying genetic mutations before symptoms appear, this cutting-edge technology allows for tailored therapies based on individual requirements, he said.

Dr Dogra explained, “The testing usually takes 7-10 days, with multiple people being tested simultaneously. Currently, these facilities are provided free of cost at the hospital and involve specialized machinery and expertise. Such tests are conducted based on recommendations from oncologists.”

He said such tests are being on the recommendations of oncologists. Once such probability is found in any person, then a clinical oncologist can advise him and offer different things that he can adapt, he said, adding that in the next five to ten years, diagnosis will be based on genetics and it helps in catching disease very early.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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