Genetic risk assessment company Genetic Technologies (ASX: GTG) has unveiled two new ground-breaking cancer risk assessment tests for both colorectal and breast cancer.
Branded as “GeneType for Colorectal Cancer” and “GeneType for Breast Cancer” the two tests combine information from genetic markers called “single nucleotide polymorphisms” to assess how people’s genetic make-up affects their risk of developing various diseases.
GeneType for Colorectal Cancer is a test that can determine a patient’s risk of developing colorectal cancer over a period of time. The test considers patients’ age, family history and a series of genetic markers to provide a more accurate assessment of colorectal cancer risk.
For the time being, the test is only compatible with patients of Caucasian descent who are over 30 years of age, although there are plans to develop analogous tests for other ethnicities in due course.
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US. However, one in three adults fails to receive appropriate colorectal cancer screening for their age which can often lead to cancer detection at a progressively late stage which can unfortunately leave patients with limited treatment options.
To further compound the problem of poor detection, rates of colorectal cancer among 20-49-year-olds is steadily increasing.
Genetic Technologies’ world-first polygenic risk test for colorectal cancer provides healthcare providers and their patients a five-year, 10-year, and lifetime risk assessment of the patient developing colorectal cancer – thereby protecting patients from poor health outcomes and high costs from late diagnosis of disease.
In parallel, the GeneType for Breast Cancer test is able to determine women’s risk of developing sporadic breast cancer.
According to Genetic Technologies, three major factors contribute to a woman’s risk of breast cancer, namely genetic markers, breast density and family history.
The genetic risk assessment company claims that by combining these key risk factors, it can provide a more accurate risk assessment compared to existing methodologies.
The new breast cancer test provides a substantial improvement over Genetic Technologies’ legacy breast cancer test (previously called BREVAGenplus) by incorporating multiple additional clinical risk factors.
This test is expected to provide healthcare providers and their patients with a “five-year and lifetime risk assessment of the patient developing breast cancer.” Importantly, the new breast cancer test covers 95% of women – a key facet that is expected to garner widespread adoption from healthcare providers.
With the tests now developed and successfully tested, Genetic Technologies said that its heavily patented approach to incorporating further clinical risk information “places them at the forefront of the global risk assessment space”.
Improved testing worldwide
One of the most important takeaways from the tests is that they will enable doctors to identify early-warning signs of future cancer, and therefore, will allow patients to adopt necessary lifestyle changes to reduce cancer risk and improve ongoing disease detection.
According to Genetic Technologies chairman and chief executive officer Dr Paul Kasian “these tests allow government health leaders to directly target future screening to the most high-risk patients, thereby massively reducing health system costs and providing much better outcomes for patients.”
“Our proactive approach to disease management has the potential to save both lives and money by allowing the earlier detection of disease and focusing the use of limited healthcare resources to those most in need,” he said.
“Genetic testing is a growing industry worldwide and it is remarkable that the team has maintained thought and product development leadership in this competitive space. Armed with these new world-class products, Genetic Technologies is poised to play its part in making predictive genetic testing a mainstream healthcare activity – a routine part of any health check-up,” said Dr Kasian.
According to the risk assessment company, it intends to introduce the new GeneType for Colorectal Cancer and GeneType for Breast Cancer genetic tests to healthcare providers via a global network of distribution partners in the coming months.
Having announced the tests and unveiled them to the public, Genetic Technologies has also published a market roadmap that sees the company developing a Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular test sometime between Q3 and Q4 2019 and then move onto finalising a prostate cancer and melanoma test in 2020.
This morning’s news sent Genetic Technologies shares up 57% to $0.011 per share.