Tuesday, April 21, 2015
New Genetic Tests for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Hold Promise
A Silicon Valley start-up with some big-name backers is threatening to upend genetic screening for breast and ovarian cancer by offering a test on a sample of saliva that is so inexpensive that most women could get it.
But the issue of who should be tested remains controversial. The effort of the start-up, Color Genomics, to “democratize access to genetic testing,” in the words of the chief executive, Elad Gil, is generating concern among some experts.
The company plans to charge $249 for an analysis of BRCA1 and BRCA2, plus 17 other cancer-risk genes. That is one tenth the price of many tests now on the market.
Mutations in these genes increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and are tested:
ATM BARD1 BRCA1 BRCA2 BRIP1 CDH1 CHEK2 EPCAM MLH1 MSH2 MSH6 NBN PALB2 PMS2 PTEN RAD51C RAD51D STK11 TP53