VA employs next-generation sequencing - VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
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VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

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VA employs next-generation sequencing

March 1, 2019


VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Press Release header. Office of Public Affairs Media Relations (310) 268-3340


LOS ANGELES - Local VA medical center becomes the first healthcare system in the VA to use next-generation sequencing (NGS) for clinical testing on patient samples for which results will affect patient care. On VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System’s go live date, Feb. 28, NGS will be used to analyze samples from patients with hematologic disorders including acute leukemia, myeloproliferative neoplasms and myelodysplastic syndromes. NGS is a powerful DNA sequencing platform that has revolutionized genomic research; an entire human genome can be processed and decoded within a single day.

Acting Chief of Staff at VAGLAHS, Dr. W. Lance George, views this technology as an extension of the organization’s efforts to leverage technology for Veterans health care needs. 

“VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System strives to remain at the forefront of Veterans health care services using the most advanced technologies available. As the first molecular laboratory in VA to offer NGS for clinical testing for patient care, we continue to reaffirm our commitment to make VAGLAHS the first choice for Veterans in greater LA.”

VAGLAHS has the largest VA molecular lab in the country providing molecular oncology testing for VISN 22 Network including Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. In addition, VAGLAHS has the experienced staff with the expertise required to perform this highly complex test for patient care. 

NGS Veterans Myeloid Panel can identify specific, clinically significant and actionable genomic alterations that provides insight about a patient’s disorder so that treatment can be tailored specifically for that patient.

According to Medical Director for Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Service at VAGLAHS, Dr. Carmen Kletecka, depending on which genomic alterations are present, a patient can be a candidate for targeted therapy or a clinical trial.  

“No two patients will have the exact same hematologic disorder and the NGS testing will help us see how they are different at a genomic level.  That information is used to provide better, more effective care.”

The Ion Torrent™ Oncomine™ Myeloid Research Assay used by VAGLAHS, is a comprehensive, targeted NGS test designed for the simultaneous analysis of DNA mutations, RNA fusion transcripts and gene expression levels associated with myeloid cancers in a single run, yielding results in as little as 2-3 days.

“Results from NGS testing are a powerful tool that oncologists can use to guide clinical care and patient management for improved outcomes” said Frias-Kletecka. “The VA is working hard to take steps to ensure that our Veteran patients are receiving the best modern medicine has to offer.”

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ABOUT VAGLAHS: VAGLAHS is one component of the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network (VISN22) offering services to Veterans residing in Southern California. VAGLAHS consists of three ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility and 10 community-based outpatient clinics. VAGLAHS serves Veterans residing throughout five counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. There are about 1.4 million Veterans in the VAGLAHS service area. For more information, call (310) 478-3711 or visit us at Veterans in need can call the VA hotline toll-free at 877-4-AID-VET.