South Korea’s next generation sequencing set to take off: report | Healthcare Asia Magazine
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South Korea’s next generation sequencing set to take off: report

There has been a growing interest towards researching cancer screening in the country.

Driven by the increased incidence of cancer and greater disease awareness, South Korea’s next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4% between 2022 and 2030, said a report from GlobalData.

The report revealed that growing investment in training, rising awareness to implement broader screening strategies, and research to explore the potential health and economic benefits of cancer mutational disease screening will further drive the NGS market.

NGS refers to a DNA sequencing technology that can query the entire genome within a single day, which can be used to detect certain diseases such as cancers.

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GlobalData also noted a growing interest in whole-generation sequencing (WGS), a type of NGS technique that captures an almost complete overview of the genomic characteristics and detects all types of genomic mutations of a tumour in a single test.

Many of these gene mutations are biomarkers for accurate screening and treatment but are difficult to detect with standard medical tests, the report stated.

Shachee Singh, analyst on the medical devices team at GlobalData, noted that a WGS analysis and interpretation company has recently launched a pilot program to make WGS available for the first time in South Korea as routine cancer care to patients at various stages of their treatment course, if physicians identify potential health benefits for those patients.

“Although WGS is well established as a potential cancer diagnostic test in research studies, its application in routine settings will only be possible provided current limitations such as high costs and technical challenges are addressed,” Singh said.

According to Genome Insight, over 100 patients will be targeted initially in the program this year and the results will be used to support more patients in the future by providing accurate diagnoses and personalized treatments for cancer and rare diseases.

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