Discussing How to Bring Next-Generation Sequencing to Community Practices

Jennifer Marie Suga, MD, discusses implementing a genomic oncology program at Kaiser Permanente Northern California through large-scale genomic next generation sequencing testing of patients with advanced cancers in the community setting.

Jennifer Marie Suga, MD, a medical oncologist at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, discusses implementing a genomic oncology program at Kaiser Permanente Northern California through large-scale genomic next generation sequencing (NGS) testing of patients with advanced cancers in the community setting.

Suga says that the goals of this project are to address how to increase the utilization of NGS testing and make it more widespread in community oncology practices. One of the practical challenges for testing in the community setting is lack of access at scale; many health care systems and institutions do not have a lot of robust infrastructure and processes to deliver routine broad-spectrum NGS testing for all patients with advanced cancer, according to Suga.

Employing this comprehensive genomic oncology program will hopefully support community oncologists from the time they ordered the test up to when they receive the results to ultimately increase the utilization of NGS in the community setting, Suga explains. To implement this program, Kaiser Permanente partnered with Strata Oncology, who provided a form through their clinical trials protocol for Kaiser to provide the NGS test for community practices. After that, they will work toward implementing a process for ordering the test all the way through interpretation and results.

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