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Synergy Oncology: Taking Ngs Genomic Testing To The Next Level
Joseph Cohil, Head of Synergy Oncology and Precision Medicine, Synergy Oncology Precision oncology is swiftly replacing the one-size-fits-all therapies with individualized therapeutic strategies and enhancing the standard of cancer care. However, there is still significant room for improvement in its care delivery. Consider the case of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) genomic testing, for instance, which is now being preferred over individual tests by oncologists. NGS has the potential to facilitate the diagnosis of multiple cancer genes simultaneously, but the lack of a thoroughgoing approach in NGS testing is hindering the quick detection of cancer mutations, adversely affecting cancer care.
Let’s say a patient with advanced cancer approaches an oncologist to determine the presence of a cancer mutation. The oncologist goes with the current gold standard for cancer diagnosis—tissue biopsy. But what if the quantity or quality of the tissue specimen is low? If the sample is insufficient, the test cannot be performed; and if the specimen has poor quality, the test results will not be reliable. As the risks and costs associated with another tumor tissue retrieval are high, the doctor would then consider going for a liquid biopsy, which is a lessinvasive process. The liquid biopsy test has to be conducted depending on the doctor’s and patient’s schedules, and the result typically takes at least two to three weeks.
This delay in turnaround time due to a failed NGS can be life-threatening for a patient as the battle against cancer is indeed a race against time. That’s where Synergy Oncology is all set to revolutionize cancer diagnosis with its genomic testing kit— Totality—that brings together solid tumor and circulating tumor testing in a single kit.
Synergy Oncology is a division of Synergy Laboratories, one of the leading laboratory services providers in the American Southeast. Synergy Oncology leverages datadriven and comprehensive genomic and molecular testing to help physicians make informed decisions through its oneof- a-kind kit. Notably, Totality brings together four different assays—Totality Tissue CDx for tissue biopsy, Totality Liquid CDx for liquid biopsy, Totality Hereditary for hereditary cancers, and Totality Myeloid Malignancies for myeloid malignant cancer types. Totality thus allows oncologists the flexibility to conduct multiple assays concurrently.
Totality empowers oncologists to reflex from one assay to the other if the former fails to detect actionable biomarkers, subsequently preventing delays that occur when an NGS test fails to give an optimum result. Additionally, if germline mutations are identified in a tissue or liquid sample, Totality provides a reflex to hereditary cancer testing assay.
It hence avoids the delay oncologists conventionally face when germline mutations are found in a specimen. The kit also offers a solitary assay for myeloid malignant cancer types. By bringing all these genomics portfolios in a single collection kit,
Totality provides industry-leading turnaround time, the lowest possible specimen requirements, and unparalleled convenience for physicians and patients.
“By bringing all the different assays in a single diagnostic kit, Totality drastically improves the physician and patient experience,” states Joseph Cohil, Head of Synergy Oncology and Precision Medicine.
On the one hand, the Totality collection kit offers oncologists the flexibility to customize the testing workflow according to the patient’s previous testing and treatment history. The oncologist can provide the specimen requirements based on the chosen workflow—a combination of tissue, blood, or saliva. The reflex capability of Totality will consequently allow the oncologist to carry out the diagnosis quickly.
On the other hand, this biomarker-informed treatment substantially improves patient outcomes. By unifying the genomics portfolio in a single testing kit and enabling its testing under one roof by the same team of experts, Synergy Oncology and Totality brings unparalleled benefits to the patient’s time-sensitive disease state.
Totality also presents physicians with a concise and summarized report on the appropriate FDA-approved therapies, professional practice guidelines, and clinical trials to help devise a personalized treatment for the patient. Providing information on available clinical trials can be ground-breaking in oncology care. According to various reports, less than five percent of adult cancer patients enroll in cancer clinical trials in the country. There exists a considerable gap between the clinical trial participation rates and the willingness of patients to participate. Putting this data in doctors’ and patients’ hands can drastically enhance patient participation in cancer clinical trials and propel the pace of cancer treatment advancements.
By Bringing All The Different Assays In A Single Diagnostic Kit, Totality Drastically Improves The Physician And Patient Experience
Right now, Synergy Oncology is set to launch Totality Tissue CDx, with the remaining assays launching in phases and completing the product line by the end of this year. Once brought to market, the gold standard kit will become the most comprehensive NGS genomic testing kit available.
Synergy Oncology has a state-of-the-art CLIA-, COLA-licensed, and CAP-certified laboratory that offers complete diagnostic test offerings, including clinical, molecular, toxicology, genomics, and pathology services. At the core of Synergy’s lab services is a pool of industry experts who have decades of expertise working in the different realms of healthcare in Fortune 500 companies as well as startups.
Synergy also has vast expertise in bringing top scientific minds together to develop and commercialize various diagnostic testing techniques. It is indeed this leading-edge capability that has enabled Synergy to develop Totality. In this venture, Synergy has partnered with some leading industry players like Illumina, Agilent, and Roche to advance the frontiers of data-driven precision oncology testing.
At the Leading Edge of Technology to Provide Affordable Care
Today, Synergy is investing significantly in the most innovative technologies, research and development (R&D), and strategic collaborations. The laboratory services provider is extending its focus on artificial intelligence (AI), informatics research, and digital pathology by forming strategic alliances and partnerships with key players. These collaborations allow Synergy to extend its foothold into new sectors like the pharmaceutical industry, where it can assist the R&D of new drugs by leveraging data.
Synergy Is One Of The Few Laboratory Solutions Providers In The Country That Has Taken Ngs Innovations To The Next Level
Even while staying at this helm of innovation, Synergy is considerably reducing patient healthcare costs with its expansive network of healthcare providers and payers. Laboratory expenses remain one of the biggest contributors to healthcare costs and can be sizeable for patients who do not have appropriate health insurance coverage. However, the federal guidelines now recommend coverage and payment for advanced technologies, like Totality, in diagnosing many cancer types. Synergy Oncology plays a pivotal role as an in-network laboratory services provider by making Totality accessible to all. There is a notable void for a cutting-edge oncology diagnostics provider in the Southeast, and Synergy Oncology aims to fill that gap by making advanced technology accessible to the unserved community of the region.
In that regard, Synergy Oncology also extends an extensive program to help minimize any patient responsibility during the diagnostic procedures. Synergy Oncology’s intake team will work hand-inhand with physicians and patients to navigate the whole process by identifying financial programs specific to the patient. Synergy is one of the few laboratory solutions providers in the country that has taken NGS innovations to the next level. However, it’s just the beginning of a long journey for the laboratory solutions provider. Synergy Oncology has chosen genomics testing just as a starting point of its offerings in the field and is determined to expand its portfolio to offer a single-source solution for oncology care. Meanwhile, Synergy is all set to evolve and enter new markets with its commitment to reducing healthcare’s human and economic costs.