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NCCN Updates Guidelines For Hereditary Colon Cancer Testing

Stocks in this article: MYGN

SALT LAKE CITY, March 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN) today is pleased to note that the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has revised its medical guidelines to expand Lynch syndrome screening. Lynch syndrome is the most common cause of hereditary colon cancer in adults.

Myriad believes the new guidelines will dramatically expand the number of patients eligible for hereditary colon cancer testing, especially among at-risk asymptomatic patients for whom screening has historically been limited based upon prior guidelines and a lack of insurance reimbursement. Some of the key aspects of the new guidelines include:

  • A recommendation that all patients who meet a five percent or greater risk threshold for Lynch syndrome are appropriate for testing;
  • A recommendation against sequential testing for the five Lynch syndrome genes in lieu of panel testing; and
  • An acknowledgement that patients with cancer can proceed directly to sequencing tests without a complicated tissue screening algorithm.

"We view the expansion of guidelines to broaden access to Lynch syndrome screening as a major victory for patients and their families. It is the culmination of a significant amount of work by patient advocates and healthcare professionals to bring about this important advancement in guidelines," said Patrick Lynch J.D. M.D., professor in the Department of Gastroenterology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "Our hope is that these guidelines are broadly accepted by the medical community, which would dramatically expand the number of at-risk, asymptomatic, patients who have access to the life-saving information associated with Lynch syndrome testing."

Myriad estimates that approximately 30 percent of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer patients, 100 percent of newly diagnosed endometrial cancer patients, and three percent of asymptomatic patients will now qualify for Lynch syndrome testing under the new medical guidelines. These estimates are based upon Myriad's research collaborations with multiple research institutions and through the development of the PREdiction model for Mismatch repair Mutations (PREMM 1,2,6) model by Sapna Syngal M.D. at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Fay Kastrinos M.D. at Columbia University.

"Our experience is that restrictive and confusing hereditary colon cancer guidelines have limited patient access compared to those in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. This is a major step to expand access to genetic testing for all patients at risk for hereditary colon cancer," said Mark Capone, president of Myriad Genetic Laboratories. "Myriad will continue to work with professional organizations to identify appropriate patients, especially as we launch our next generation test, Myriad myRisk Hereditary Cancer, which has been shown to detect over 60 percent more deleterious mutations than standard of care in patients at risk of hereditary colon cancer."

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