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Leading Clinical Experts Across the U.S. Unite to Support Universal Genetic Testing for all Patients with Cancer

Clinicians agree that evidence supports testing benefits for all

Excerpt from the Press Release:

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Invitae ( NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, joined other clinical experts in releasing a new commentary in Journal of Clinical Oncology Precision Oncology, underscoring the importance of universal germline testing for all patients with cancer (solid tumors). The paper reports a meta-analysis of multiple clinical publications supporting universal testing, independent of age, stage, family history or type of cancer. It reports that for cancer types such as pancreatic and ovarian where universal genetic testing is already recommended, 13% and 20% of patients (respectively) have identifiable actionable heritable gene mutations,2. In comparison, the actionable inherited gene mutation rate for patients with other cancer types is similar: breast 11%, endometrial 13%, prostate 14%, kidney 13%, bladder 14%, testicular 13%, colorectal 13%, liver 14%, and stomach 14%.

Furthermore, it reports that between 5-13% of patients with cancer with heritable gene mutations are missed by current restrictive testing guidelines and are unable to benefit from associated precision treatment and clinical trial benefits. First, allowing all patients to receive germline testing, without restrictive guidelines, affords patients access to precision therapies, clinical trials and other risk reducing interventions that can improve outcomes, and even extend overall patient survival1. Second, genetic testing informs surveillance and risk reduction for future cancers in patients already affected by cancer. Third, cascade testing helps alert their family members of an increased risk for cancer, so they too can then take advantage of monitoring and risk reducing interventions. Consistent with the Cancer Moonshot 2.0 and the President’s Cancer Panel report 2022, the expert consensus concludes that current evidence supports the implementation of universal germline genetic testing for all patients with cancer (solid tumors).

“This consensus from nationally recognized, cancer genetics clinical experts reinforces the current guidelines that universal genetic testing be offered in all patients with ovarian and pancreatic cancer and either be offered or considered in all patients with colorectal,” said Ed Esplin, MD, PhD, FACMG, FACP, clinical geneticist at Invitae.

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