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Myriad Genetics Inc. ( MYGN - Analyst Report) recently revealed new clinical data from a study with myRisk Hereditary Cancer, a 25-gene hereditary cancer panel. Myriad will present clinical data from this study and four others at the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer (CGA) Annual Meeting to be held in Anaheim, California.
The study found a 60% increase in mutations in cancer susceptible genes and in patients with a prior history of colon cancer and/or polyps. It also revealed that patients carrying a family history of colon cancer can also be easily victimized by other forms of cancer in breast, ovarian, endometrial or stomach.
The detection of individuals with mutations related to hereditary colon cancer is a significant breakthrough and promises to be an immense relief for high-risk individuals. Moreover, once a patient has been identified as carrier of harmful mutation, his/her family members can also be tested to evaluate their chances of being afflicted by cancer. The detection done in advance can help save many at-risk lives and at the same time, reduce healthcare costs.
The new data sheds light on the benefits of using 25-gene hereditary cancer panels in detection of mutations that is considered an important step in administering efficient and timely cancer diagnosis and management.
The results from five different clinical studies that will form part of the annual meeting are significant. Firstly, germline mutations identified by a 25-Gene Panel in patients undergoing Lynch syndrome using the myRisk Hereditary Cancer test, found a 60% increase in the number of patients detected with harmful mutations in cancer-prone genes.
The second study showed an overlap between patients with family histories of hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer (HBOC) and also those with family histories of colon cancer. The study considered benefits that patients may draw from multi-gene panels to improve diagnosis of hereditary cancer syndromes.
The fourth study that was undertaken to examine the mutation breakdown among the five genes confirmed the increased usefulness of hereditary colon cancer testing. The results, supported with adequate statistical data, also stated that hereditary colon cancer testing has made remarkable progress with the addition of new colon cancer genes, allowing for increased sensitivity. The validated reclassification methods have also decreased the variant of uncertain significance (VUS) rate, thereby aiding hereditary colon cancer diagnosis.
The fifth and the final study indicated that mutations in the MYH gene may increase an individual's risk of colon cancer. In the select patient population selected for this particular study, a higher frequency of colon cancer and polyps was observed in comparison with the general population.
MYGN currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks that are worth a look include Actelion Ltd. ( ALIOF - Snapshot Report) and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Agenus Inc. ( AGEN - Analyst Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).