Sanger sequencing is relatively inexpensive and easy to perform when interrogating a single gene. However, it is not practical to look at multiple genes by Sanger sequencing. When multiple genes need to be analyzed massively-parallel sequencing or next-generation sequencing (NGS) is employed. NGS can be utilized to look at the entire genome, exome, or targeted areas of the genome. Clinical oncology testing is predominantly performed by targeted panels; however, that may change in the future as the NGS technology becomes faster and cheaper.
NGS allows us to take a much deeper look at the cancer genome than prior technologies allowed. The same site in the DNA is read hundreds of times in NGS compared with 1-4 times with Sanger Sequencing. This makes NGS much more sensitive than Sanger sequencing. The high throughput and relatively low cost make this technology an attractive option for cancer genome analysis.
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