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myRisk Hereditary Cancer Test solves dilemma between overlapping cancers

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"There is robust evidence that hereditary cancers are caused by mutations in many genes and testing for only one hereditary cancer syndrome may lead to missed mutations," said Richard J. Wenstrup, M.D., chief medical officer of Myriad.

As a result, the company has developed the myRisk Hereditary Cancer test which “solves this predicament by using ‘next-generation’ sequencing technology to evaluate 25 clinically significant hereditary cancer genes associated with eight major hereditary cancers such as breast, colon, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate, gastric cancers and melanoma,” he continued.

The results are then are combined with the patient’s personal and family history, as well as medical society guidelines to develop a (single) comprehensive report to enable physicians to “tailor” individual treatment strategies for personalized care according to their level of risk.

For instance, a study evaluating outcomes of testing with the myRisk test in 1,260 patients with a history of hereditary colon cancer, showed that 27% of the participants identified as mutation carriers identified by the myRisk test had mutations in genes not normally associated with hereditary colon cancer.

“Importantly, more than one third of the additional mutations found were in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which further demonstrates the overlap that exists between the hereditary breast and colon cancer syndromes,” Wenstrup continued. “In turn, 28% of 941 patients with colon and endometrial cancer evaluated by the myRisk test had mutations in the genes associated with hereditary colon cancer. 65% of these met NCCN criteria for genetic testing after their first cancer. These findings underscore the importance of diagnosing patients with hereditary cancer syndromes after their first cancer so that a second cancer can be prevented or identified early.”

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