According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the World Cancer Research Fund International, an estimated 14.1 million cancer cases were reported worldwide in 2012. This makes innovations in diagnostic tests for cancer newsworthy to say the least. Based on a recently published study in Genetics in Medicine, multi-gene tests for detecting cancer in more than one form are showing promise.

With cancer detection moving this direction, Myriad Genetics just introduced its myRisk Hereditary Cancer multi-gene test which provides the ability to detect eight major forms of cancer. By analyzing results related to 25 genes, the test provides an increased sensitivity to breast, ovarian, colorectal, prostate, melanoma, gastric, pancreatic and endometrial cancers. Mark Capone (the president of Myriad Genetics Laboratories) explained, “myRisk Hereditary Cancer will improve the quality of patient care by empowering healthcare providers with knowledge about their patients’ risk of hereditary cancer and the appropriate medical management options available based on that risk.”

Since cancer is so prevalent and some of the treatments for those diagnosed with cancer seeming almost as bad as the disease itself, the ability to determine the potential risks for inheriting different forms is welcome. Therefore, it is crucial that multi-gene tests like the myRisk Hereditary Cancer test actually provide what they claim to provide. Based on Myriad Genetics’ press release, it looks like the company is taking steps to ensure this is the case. Myriad is using a phased approach for its myRisk Hereditary Cancer launch, and it will present its clinical validity data at the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer annual meeting in October and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December. For more information, see Genetics in Medicine, Dana-Farber and World Cancer Research Fund International and Myriad Genetics.


Ryan Lahti is the founder and managing principal of OrgLeader, LLC. Stay up to date on Ryan’s STEM-based organization tweets here: @ryanlahti