Genetic Technologies (ASX:GTG) rose over 30% this morning after announcing an imminent launch of the world’s first comprehensive risk test for breast and ovarian cancer.

The Risk Assessment Test will be able to evaluate a woman’s risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer either from a hereditary genetic mutation, or from the far more common familial or sporadic cancer.

This new test integrates GTG’s patented and proprietary GeneType platform, which could detect the 13 major “actionable” breast and ovarian cancers.

The risk assessment is performed from a single saliva sample and a brief questionnaire.

GTG expects the new assessment to result in higher detection and classification rates than traditional clinical tools.

The new platform will address women over 30 years of age in the general population that are at higher risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer, not just from rare genetic mutations.

GTG believes the new platform could advance the goal of providing population-based genetic screening for breast and ovarian cancer where up to 85% of cancers diagnosed do not have hereditary or family history.


Needle in a haystack

Globally, there are more than 2.26 million cases of breast cancer and 313,000 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed annually.

In the US, those numbers are 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and 19,880 cases for ovarian cancer.

Currently, women are under screened and under-diagnosed for risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC) based on their clinical criteria.

There is considerable evidence that these criteria do not capture all women who are HBOC carriers.

A recent screening of more than 6,000 women found that of the 38 HBOC carriers identified, nearly half would not have qualified for HBOC testing based on clinical criteria.

Because of that, their elevated risk of cancer would not have been identified.

“GTG believes this Comprehensive Risk Test for breast and ovarian cancer is one of our most important and significant contributions to the advancement of population-based genetic testing,” said GTG CEO, Simon Morriss.

“We are moving beyond rare cancer-susceptibility genetics.

“We can look for the needle in the haystack, but we are also able to look at the haystack itself. Our non-invasive risk assessment test will address cancer risk at a population health level.”


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