FUNDING

Kailos, Huntsman Institute Receive NIH Grant to Develop Cancer Recurrence Test

By Ron Shinkman, Editor, Laboratory Industry Report

The Alabama-based Kailos Genetics and the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have received a $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new test for circulating tumor DNA.

This specific test would be used to monitor breast cancer patients for any recurrence of the disease. Up to 11 percent of women have local recurrence of breast cancer, which can be more easily treated if detected early.

Currently, about 1.5 million women are monitored for recurrence using standard imaging. Such tests are not definitive and can lead to overexposure to radiation.

Kailos currently offers a basic prognostic genomic test that determines some risk for passing on genetic diseases to children, or sensitivity to certain medicines. It focuses primarily on the BRCA and BARD genes, both of which can be predictive of certain types of breast cancer. The tests run from $99 to $225.

“We hope that the work we do as a result of this grant accelerates the translation of research discoveries into useful tools that improve cancer care,” said Katherine Varley, assistant professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, in a statement. “This research has the potential to make a big difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and oncologists in the coming years.”

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

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