Jammu GMC to get NGS testing facility to detect early stage of cancer

Jammu: The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC), Jammu, is going to be the first health institution in the Jammu region that will soon have an NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) testing facility for detecting and diagnosing early stage cancer.

The NGS facility is expected to start in the Jammu GMC by February, official sources said on Tuesday.

“The Jammu based Government Medical College and Hospital will have the NGS test facility by the end of February in the MicroBiology Department for early diagnosis of cancer-like symptoms,” sources said.

The NGS is notably is a massively parallel sequencing technology that offers ultra-high throughput, scalability, and speed. The technology is used to determine the order of nucleotides in entire genomes or targeted regions of DNA or RNA.

Compared to traditional methods, NGS offers advantages in accuracy, sensitivity, and speed that have the potential to make a significant impact on the field of oncology.

Because NGS can assess multiple genes in a single assay, it eliminates the need to order multiple tests to identify the causative mutation.

Official sources said that detection of cancer in an advanced stage can help its prevention and treatment, adding that “in the first phase, 100 tests will be conducted in testing mode, and based upon the results, the facility will be a regular feature.”

They said that early detection can help the patient get timely treatment, and the start of the NGS test facility in Jammu will benefit the patients battling with the chronic disease.

A well-known oncologist and principal of Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu, Dr (Prof) Ashutosh Sharma, told UNI, “We are on the job, and the NGS test facility is expected to begin in the hospital by the next two weeks.”

“Initially, it will start with breast cancer, and it will be the first of its kind facility in the GMC in the Jammu region,” said the Principal.

As per reports, over 55,000 cancer cases were detected in Jammu and Kashmir in the last five years.

According to the Health Ministry data, 12396 cancer cases were reported in the year 2019, 12726 in 2020, 13060 in 2021, and 13395 in 2022.

Mouth and lung cancer in men and cervical and breast cancer in women are responsible for 50 percent of deaths due to cancer in Jammu and Kashmir.

“More than 6,000 cancer cases have been registered at the State Cancer Institute Jammu in the last year,” official sources said.

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