Whole Genome Sequencing test (WGS test)
A very special type of molecular diagnostics is the analysis of the complete tumor DNA. This is called Whole Genome Sequencing, or a WGS test.
In specific circumstances, your physician will request this type of DNA test for you. This diagnostic procedure maps out the complete DNA code of the tumor, showing all abnormalities at once.
What is a WGS test?
A WGS test analyzes all tumor DNA. This DNA is then compared to the healthy DNA taken from the patient's blood. This brings all mutations in the DNA of the tumor to light.
When would your physician request a WGS test for you?
The WGS test can be used for two purposes:
- if other diagnostic tests are not sufficient to reach a diagnosis. The complete DNA profile can help determine where the tumor originated and what type of tumor it is.
- A WGS test can help us select the treatment that is right for you. Your tumor type will determine if and when a WGS test can be used for this purpose.
Can a WGS test tell us anything about hereditary cancer?
A WGS test is not intended to detect hereditary illness. The test is intended to detect changes to the DNA of tumor cells that came about during life. These mutations are not hereditary.
A WGS test can still detect hereditary mutations. This is because the computer compares the tumor DNA with the healthy DNA from your blood. In about 10% of cases, this healthy DNA shows a hereditary predisposition for cancer. Some patients knew about this, but some did not.
It may be important to know that such a hereditary predisposition will only be included in the results of your WSG test if you have given us permission to do so. Your physician will discuss this with you before requesting the test. If a patient does not want to know if they have a hereditary factor in their DNA, the results of the test will still be complete.