Genomic Advancements Are Advancing Early Cancer Detection

    By: Nina Deka, Sr. Research Analyst


    In the last few years, genomic advancements have changed the game in cancer detection. New technology is enabling people to find out eight months ahead of time whether a treated cancer has returned, or whether they have early stage colon cancer-without undergoing a colonoscopy. In our latest white paper, 'Healthcare Innovation is Revolutionizing Cancer Detection', we discuss new breakthroughs in cancer testing, and how this innovation is driving a whole host of new investment opportunities. Investors can access these opportunities through the HTEC Index, which includes genomic disruptors such as Illumina, Natera, and Foundation Medicine.



    Liquid biopsy creates a $30+ billion market opportunity

    The fastest growing cancer test today is the liquid biopsy, which is usually just a routine blood draw. As with many things that can be done remotely, the pandemic has further strengthened the value proposition for liquid sampling. This is because blood can be drawn anywhere, including the patient’s own home. The same cannot be said for the more traditional tissue biopsy, which involves surgery. Because liquid biopsy can be used for detecting earlier stages of cancer, and for monitoring after the cancer has been treated, the liquid market is twice the size of the tissue market, bringing another $30 billion of opportunity to cancer testing,

    Natera’s new test can detect the recurrence of cancer nine months sooner

    HTEC member Natera offers a liquid biopsy test for post-treatment monitoring for colorectal cancer recurrence. Many people who are treated for colorectal cancer experience a recurrence of the disease, and 80% of the time it’s detected, it’s too late. Natera’s new Signatera test can detect recurrence nearly nine months sooner than traditional monitoring methods, which enables earlier intervention and saves more lives.

    Genomics is only one part of the healthcare revolution

    While genomics is causing wide-scale disruption, it’s important to note that adjacent areas are also seeing an influx of investment due to their broad market opportunities. Genomics companies need to partner with life sciences companies to develop precision medicine. The healthcare system needs very advanced data and AI capabilities to analyze the vast amount of data exploding out of genomic science. We’re also seeing breakthroughs in medical devices and diagnostics for cancer and many healthcare other needs. All of these areas are going to transform healthcare over the next decade. Thus, investors who are only looking at one or two innovative areas may be missing out on significant investment opportunities. HTEC is the only index that provides exposure to the best companies from all of these disruptive areas. Learn more about investing in healthcare technology here.


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