ALISO VIEJO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ambry Genetics (Ambry) today announces that it has launched ProstateNext, a new 14-gene panel for hereditary prostate cancer. Ambry will feature it at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference taking place September 28-October 1 in Seattle, WA. This also coincides with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and follows a recent New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) article demonstrating a higher frequency of germline mutations in men with metastatic prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the U.S.1, representing 10.7% of all new cancer cases in the country.2 The median age at diagnosis for these men is 66 years.2
Due to available screening and treatment, prostate cancer in general has excellent survival rates, but death rates are higher in certain men, including those with advanced stage cancer (such as metastatic cancer).2
Several factors place a man at increased risk for prostate cancer, and these can include family history and germline mutations. Hereditary prostate cancer, the type caused by germline mutations traveling through a family, is believed to account for 5-10% of all prostate cancer (although this estimate is being refined with ongoing research). A germline mutation found in a man with prostate cancer can open the door to individualized prostate cancer treatment and/or screening for it and related cancers.
Michelle Jackson, MS, CGC, Ambry Genetic Counselor and Oncology Product Manager, said, “Germline genetic testing can help a man that has had prostate cancer learn about his risk for other cancers, and determine if his family members may also be at increased risk. Existing medical management guidelines recommending additional cancer screening can empower these families to be proactive about their health, particularly once genetic testing confirms the risk.”
Common causes of hereditary prostate cancer are germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which can often be associated with a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Mutations in other genes also contribute to hereditary prostate cancer including ATM, CHEK2, genes associated with Lynch syndrome (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2) and several others; these may also convey risks to other cancers, like pancreatic, breast, and colorectal cancer.
ProstateNext includes germline evaluation (next generation sequencing (NGS) and deletion/duplication analysis) of 14 genes: ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, EPCAM, HOXB13, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, NBN, PALB2, PMS2, RAD51D, and TP53. Ambry’s team selected these genes using scientific evidence confirming an association with prostate cancer; the same genes encompass risks for male breast cancer, colorectal cancer and more.
Jackson offered, “At Ambry we thoughtfully create and launch our testing, often fulfilling a deeper professional or personal meaning. Not only does offering ProstateNext at this time allow Ambry to bring much-needed attention to prostate cancer, one of the most common cancers diagnosed in men, but we are able to do so during a very meaningful time – Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.”
The new testing option also offers a solution to a peer-reviewed international study recently published in NEJM. This identified an 11.8% germline mutation rate in men with metastatic prostate cancer, higher than that found in men with localized prostate cancer (n=692), and a potential need for germline testing to find DNA-repair gene mutations in these men. All genes included in ProstateNext are mentioned in the study.
Ambry is pleased to share details about ProstateNext with genetic counselors and other clinicians caring for families affected by hereditary prostate cancer at the NSGC conference this week.
For more details about Ambry’s hereditary cancer genetic testing, please visit here.
ABOUT AMBRY GENETICS®
Ambry Genetics is a privately-held healthcare company with the most comprehensive suite of genetic testing solutions for inherited diseases. Since 1999, Ambry has tested approximately nearly one million patient samples benefiting >94% of all U.S. patients covered by public and private insurers. Ambry is dedicated to scientific collaboration by offering its rapidly growing database of anonymized genomic data (variant frequencies) free to the global medical research community to fulfill the promise of the human genome to cure or manage all human disease. Ambry is dedicated to the belief that human health should not be patented or owned, and genomic data should be freely shared so we can try to understand all human disease. For more information about Ambry Genetics, visit ambrygen.com.
National Cancer Institute. “Prostate Cancer Prevention (PDQ®) – Patient Version.” Available at https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/patient/prostate-prevention-pdq#section/all. [Accessed September 25, 2016].
National Cancer Institute. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. “SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Prostate Cancer.” Available at http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html. [Accessed September 25, 2016].
Layla Shahmirzadi, MS, LCGC
Director of Marketing
Last updated on: 30/09/2016
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