Genetic Tests

New NCCN Recommends Biomarker Prostate Cancer Testing for Intermediate- & High-Risk Men

With all the COVID-19 hullabaloo, a potentially significant development in genetic prostate cancer testing has flown under the radar. It happened on March 16, when the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) revised its prostate cancer guidelines by recommending molecular testing for patients with unfavorable intermediate or high risk for aggressive disease.

The New NCCN Guidelines

Previously, the NCCN has “not routinely recommended” molecular testing for intermediate- and high-risk patients. However, the revised guidelines say that men with unfavorable intermediate-risk and high-risk disease with a life expectancy of 10 years or longer should consider the use of biomarker tests that gauge the aggressiveness of a patient’s cancer. The NCCN specifically names two commercial tests for patients to consider:

  • The Prolaris test from Myriad Genetics; and
  • The Decipher test from GenomeDx Biosciences.

Prolaris and Decipher were also on the list of tests that might also be worthy of consideration for men who have low-risk or favorable intermediate-risk disease and life expectancy of 10 years or longer. Others included:

  • The Oncotype DX Prostate Test from Exact Sciences/Genomic Health; and
  • ProMark from Dianon Pathology.

Takeaway

What prompted the NCCN to change its mind? Part of the answer might be suggested by the statement Myriad issued after the announcement of the guidelines update noting that recently presented data from a study involving more than 700 men demonstrated that Prolaris could predict whether a man would benefit from multi-modality therapy or if he could avoid aggressive treatment.

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