Alverno Laboratories conducts genetic testing in the battle against cancer

Using state-of-the-art testing of DNA, Alverno can help diagnose and treat tumors with a customized plan.

Cancer. It’s the word no one ever wants to hear.

But, in the unfortunate event you or a loved one do hear it, there’s comfort knowing that Alverno Laboratories performs state-of-the-art Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to help guide treatment best suited to the patient.

Cancer is a genetic disease, caused by changes in DNA that control the way cells function, especially how they grow and divide. These changes can be inherited, while others arise randomly during a person’s lifetime. These changes can be a result of errors that occur as cells divide or from exposure to DNA-damaging carcinogens.

Sometimes, treatment of cancer is no longer based on its location in the body. Each person’s cancer has a unique combination of genetic changes, and NGS testing is used to identify these unique DNA changes.

In some cases, knowledge of the genetic alterations in your cancer can help determine a treatment plan. Some treatments, especially targeted therapies, are effective only for people whose cancer cells have specific genetic alterations that cause the cells to grow out of control. These are sometimes called driver mutations.

Mutations of specific genes can mean certain inhibitors can provide an excellent treatment course. NGS testing will tell the oncologist if that particular cancer has those mutations, and which treatment may be best. While it is not for every type of cancer, NGS testing can help patients get on the right treatment course from the beginning.

Next generation sequencing is at the crux of precision medicine, which is care tailored to the molecular characteristics of each patient’s disease.

How do you know if NGS is right for you or your loved one?

Consultation with your health care provider is best to discuss if NGS testing is an appropriate part of your care. NGS is most common and most beneficial for patients with cancer types that may be susceptible to treatment with a targeted therapy. These patients are commonly tested for the genetic mutation the therapy targets. For example, according to Cancer.Gov, genetic testing is a routine part of care for colorectal and lung cancer.

If you and your healthcare provider believe there’s benefits to NGS testing, ask if you can have your testing done by Alverno Laboratories. Scientists and laboratory analysts use the latest equipment and procedures to conduct the most exact NGS testing possible.

Alverno Laboratories has one central lab in Hammond, Indiana, and 120 locations throughout Indiana and Illinois. Over 1700 dedicated employees help to make the patient experience the best it can be. Alverno laboratories uses the most up-to-date technology to help identify disease causing agents as quickly as possible. Over 30 hospitals in Indiana, Illinois, including Chicago and its suburbs, trust Alverno Laboratories to deliver accurate test results in a timely manner.