Solving in Sequence
What if the most important answers for the future of humanity could be uncovered by looking within humanity itself? Although it’s not quite that simple, we are uncovering big solutions by looking into the genetic makeup of cancer patients across the state.
Through Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), we use high-powered sequencing technologies, massive data resources and other tools to assess how an individual’s genes influence the risk of developing cancer. Tumor samples obtained from biopsy or surgery are analyzed using NGS to identify the molecular or genetic changes that could influence outcomes or choice of therapy. UNCseqTM, a unique sequencing platform and clinical trial, enables our teams to create customized cancer treatment plans for new patients every day.
Our leadership in cancer genetics has also led to our key role in The Cancer Genome Atlas, a National Cancer Institute, multi-institutional effort to characterize thousands of human cancer samples. We supported the project by sequencing RNA, the genetic code that carries instructions from DNA for making proteins. As of 2016, more than 100 trillion RNA bases and more than 10,000 tumor tissues have been sequenced at UNC Lineberger. Ultimately, this work will provide critical insights that will direct the development of new treatments that target a cancer’s genetic weakness.
By looking within one another, we find great potential. Between advances in computer processing power and our growing understanding of individual genomes, we are poised for breakthrough after breakthrough.