Liquid biopsy shines at SABCS | Sequencing strategies for labs | CVS embraces genetic testing

Dear LabPulse Member,

The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), held December 10-14, featured several noteworthy studies related to genetic testing.

For example, a study demonstrating the value of Foundation Medicine/Roche's FoundationOne Liquid 70-gene assay in early triple-negative breast cancer was a featured highlight. You can also check out other news from the meeting:

The landscape for genetic testing is in the midst of great change. Reimbursement has been a key issue, but there have been some positive developments on the payment front.

This month, the U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) updated its guidance on genetic testing to include mutations beyond BRCA1/2 in patients with breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer, and it also addressed testing for mutations associated with pancreatic cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee is meeting today to consider expanding the label of the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza, AstraZeneca) to include pancreatic cancer, in addition to breast and ovarian cancer. CVS Health just unveiled a program called Transform Oncology Care that paves the way for the testing of patients insured through its Aetna subsidiary. The offering includes real-time access for providers to NCCN guidelines.

The challenge many labs face is how to prepare for the expected increase in demand for molecular genetic testing, which is notable right now in oncology and has already emerged in other disease areas as well. Many labs will need to harness next-generation sequencing to stay competitive, contributing writer Joseph Constance reports.

Dear reader, this weekly newsletter is a great way to stay on top of the news affecting the field of lab medicine. But don't forget that we add new content to daily, including stories from major medical meetings. Follow us on Twitter (@LabPulse1), Facebook, and LinkedIn to be alerted to our coverage as it is published.

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