Improved Diagnostics Expected in MSK, Quest Collaboration

Tony Berberabe, MPH @OncBiz_Wiz
Published: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014

A new independently validated lab test is now available that takes advantage of the extensive database of gene mutations amassed by Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center. Oncologists who order the OncoVantage lab test offered by Quest Diagnostics will receive a clinical annotation report that assesses the patient’s prognosis, provides guidance on treatment selection, and helps monitor disease progression.

The OncoVantage test is performed on tumor biopsies and uses next-generation sequencing technology to assess the most commonly mutated exons in 34 genes. The de-identified sequencing data will be shared with MSK, which will correlate specific gene mutations to potential therapies and disease progression applicable to that cancer type.

Over time, the two organizations intend to further study and extend the mutation data sets to potentially generate improved diagnostics, in addition to research and clinical trials.

"This relationship will empower clinicians to improve their patients' health by identifying the best therapies for patients today and by identifying specific patients who may benefit from participation in clinical trials. The needs of tomorrow's patients will be addressed by the deeper knowledge base we are building and its potential to drive the basic science needed to discover new therapies," said MSK’s president and CEO, Craig B. Thompson, MD, in a release.

In the joint collaboration, MSK will benefit from the data generated from the OncoVantage test, said Quest Diagnostics. Through a real-time data exchange, oncologists will be able to benefit from the rapid translation of discoveries into clinically actionable information for managing cancer patients. The two organizations also intend to jointly study, evaluate, and augment the size and scope of the mutation data sets, which have the potential to become more important in scientific research and publication.

"We are excited to offer oncologists and patients everywhere unprecedented access to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's exceptional knowledge of the role of gene mutations in solid tumors and the therapies most effective in treating them," said Steve H. Rusckowski, president and CEO of Quest Diagnostics.

The second phase of the collaboration between Quest and MSK will involve development of a more far-reaching test by Quest involving potentially hundreds of genes. The expanded test is expected to launch by the spring of 2015.

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