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Quest, Sloan Kettering Partner on Solid Tumor Diagnostics

DNA in test tube


2 June 2014. Quest Diagnostics in Madison, New Jersey and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York are developing tests to give physicians more precise data on genetic causes of solid tumor cancers, such as breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer. Financial and intellectual property aspects of the collaboration were not disclosed.

In the first phase of the partnership, Quest is providing access to de-identified data from its OncoVantage test that uses high-throughput genomic sequencing of tissue samples from biopsies to identify mutations in 34 genes most associated with solid tumor cancers. The company says high-throughput sequencing is recommended more often to identify specific mutations and guide more precise therapies for colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer.

Memorial Sloan Kettering will provide a contextual analysis of the individual mutations in a co-branded report to help assess the patient’s prognosis and guide more precise treatments. In the second phase, Quest and Memorial Sloan Kettering aim to develop a more comprehensive genomic test, which they aim to launch next year. The two organizations also plan to collaborate on further studies to improve cancer diagnostics and related therapy options.

Memorial Sloan Kettering recently developed a genetic assessment called Integrated Mutation Profiling of Actionable Cancer Targets or Impact that screens for mutations in some 340 genes. The institute says analyses of tumors in its patients using Impact yielded on average between 2 and 10 actionable mutations.

A study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association and led by researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering illustrates the use of genomic sequencing in cancer diagnostics and treatment. In the study, the researchers tested samples from 1,000 patients with advanced lung cancer for at least one, and in most cases 10 known genetic mutations that drive lung cancer.

In nearly two-thirds (64%) of the patients tested for 10 mutations, the researchers found a genetic driver. Out of this group, 28 percent were given a therapy designed to address that specific mutation. The average of survival of these patients ranged from 2.4 to 3.5 years.

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