Cancer is a complex disease with many faces. One company is attacking the problem from all sides.
Around the world, nearly 20 million people are diagnosed with some form of cancer annually — and nearly 10 million die from the disease. One of the biggest factors in the challenge of detecting and treating cancer is the many different forms the disease takes. While the diagnostic tools and treatments available to healthcare professionals are more accurate, effective, and widely available than ever before, there remains much work to be done. QIAGEN, a leading molecular diagnostics and cancer research company, is deploying a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis, analysis, and treatment of cancer that is offering hope for the future.
Sample to insight
One universal truth about cancer in its many forms is that the earlier — and more accurately — it is detected and analyzed, the better the chance for effective treatment. But the sheer variety of cancer types makes that challenging — there are over 100 different forms of blood cancer alone, for example. Breakthroughs in genetic testing have made it possible to identify and even predict more cancers, but there are many gene mutations to look for, and many testing roadblocks that can delay actionable data.
QIAGEN is leading the way in solid tumors and onco-hematological solutions. Their tools provide an end-to-end solution for multiple results from a single sample and offer panels that provide comprehensive results. These tools allow labs to create patient-specific reports that include diagnostic and prognostic components that help physicians and other healthcare professionals treat the unique individual as effectively as possible.
Since cancer is a disease of the genome, QIAGEN has developed diagnostic tools for the analysis of both solid tumors and blood cancers at the genetic level. Their tools detect a wide range of genetic alterations such as BCR-ABL, a fusion found in almost all patients with a type of leukemia called chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and KRAS mutations, which are present in 25 percent of NSCLC cases, making KRAS the most frequent oncogene in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Although the tools available to oncologists and laboratories today have advanced incredibly in a very short time, cancer doesn’t stand still. QIAGEN understands that without robust, targeted research, this terrible disease will continue to afflict millions — and that research has led to breakthroughs like its next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, which can identify mutations across hundreds of genes, and analyze DNA and RNA simultaneously. Combining multiple workflows into one, its multimodal sequencing process expands the biomarker coverage and maximizes what can be done with limited sample tissue.
Tumor growth is another area where QIAGEN’s research tools are making a difference. There are many biomarkers involved in tumor growth and identifying the relevant ones in a specific case is crucial to developing a targeted, personalized approach. QIAGEN understands that not only is every cancer unique, but every lab is unique. QIAGEN works with labs to define genes on a panel as needed, using proprietary technology that provides the analysis of both DNA and RNA. These comprehensive research solutions reduce costs by making it easy to customize panels from limited samples, increasing effectiveness and confidence.
The drive towards precision medicine requires a deeper understanding of the molecular events involved in cancer growth. Cutting-edge research into DNA damage repair pathways has led to QIAGEN’s new homologous recombination repair (HRR) and homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) panels. This makes detecting variants more reliable and assigning HRD scores fast and easy. And the company has leveraged its partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to develop companion diagnostic (CDx) solutions for breast and non-small cell lung cancers that can help determine if a patient will respond to a specific targeted therapy, increasing the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.
A future where cancer is more manageable, more easily detected, and more curable is within reach. Achieving that future doesn’t depend on research, improved diagnostic tools, or efficient lab results — it depends on all those things equally. QIAGEN is committed to making improvements in life possible by improving our understanding of cancer, our ability to identify it, and the tools we have to combat this terrible disease.
To learn more about QIAGEN’s mission, visit qiagen.com/us/about-us/our-vision.