In its latest version, the cancer diagnostics platform developed jointly by the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and SIB offers key additional molecular insights. In addition to guiding the interpretation of sequencing data from patients, the new OncoBench® now enables clinicians to reliably analyse variations in the number of copies of particular genes – information that is linked with several cancer therapies.

OncoBench® is a platform jointly developed by HUG and SIB to analyse and store genomic data in the field of oncology. In routine use since 2016, it is designed to streamline and automatize the complex molecular analyses used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, while ensuring the patient’s data privacy. The latest version of the platform includes a major development: in addition to its next-generation sequencing analysis package, it now also embeds a specific module to upload and interpret copy number variations (CNVs) detected by OncoScanTM. Copy number variation occurs when a particular gene suffers gains or losses of copies during tumour formation.

"In addition to individual mutations, variations in the number of copies of certain genes are also linked with the development and treatment of several cancers, e.g. ERBB2 (Her-2) for breast cancer. Thanks to this new version of Oncobench®, we are able to quickly and reliably identify the relevant CNVs and integrate them with the mutation data. It is a real breakthrough as it paves the way towards a true integrative analysis of a patient molecular data", says Yann Christinat, Clinical Bioinformatician at HUG Molecular Pathology.

This allows additional molecular insights, critical for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, to be rapidly identified and transmitted to the oncologist. The new integrated solution represents yet another gain of time and efficiency in the fight against cancer.