A next-generation sequencing instrument, the NovaSeq6000, will build genomic research capacity for MPCCC partners and increase the speed and affordability of comprehensive tumour genome profiling for cancer patients.

The new NovaSeq6000, based at Alfred Health, can simultaneously sequence 24-48 human genomes in 48 hours, depending on run settings. Its design means two sequencing runs of different configuration can be run concurrently, providing the flexibility required for both research and clinical applications.

“The increased capacity enabled through this instrument has given us research capabilities that were unimaginable just a few years ago,” said Professor Andrew Perkins, haematologist and researcher at Alfred Health and Monash University.

In addition to its enormous research potential, genomic data generated by the NovaSeq6000 can be analysed and used by clinicians to help inform decisions about the best possible treatments for patients.

Associate Professor Andrew Wei, haematologist and researcher at Alfred Health and Monash University, is excited about the impact of the new technology and its potential to advance the field of cancer genomics.

“This faster, high throughput sequencing system enables more cost-effective sequencing due to massive economies of scale. It will help us to answer important questions, support new research efforts, and enable us to solve complex problems that translate into more precise, more effective cancer treatments for our patients,” said Associate Professor Wei.

MPCCC’s Precision Oncology Program aims to support the translation of cancer genomic research into clinical practice by supporting a network of tumour specific Molecular Tumour Board meetings (MTBs) as fora to discuss potentially actionable mutations in cancer genes, the potential to use of off-label drugs, suitability for referral to clinical trial(s) or the potential use of immunotherapy.

Professor Perkins and Associate Professor Wei each chair multi-disciplinary team meetings, in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, respectively, where molecular data is discussed.

In 2020 the MPCCC will be introducing MTB’s for solid cancers across MPCCC affiliate hospitals. For more information about the MPCCC’s MTB’s contact Vikki Marshall, Precision Oncology Program Manager, at vikki.marshall@monash.edu.