Weill Cornell genome sequencing cancer test validated for clinical use

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City have developed a genome sequencing test that analyzes tumors and can guide treatment options for patients with cancer. The New York State Department of Health approved the test last fall for oncology testing, and the researchers recently published study findings in NPJ Genomic Medicine that they say validate the test and demonstrate its feasibility in a clinical setting.

The test, called EXaCT-1 scans 21,000 genes to detect genetic mutations that cause cancer. In the study, researchers tested the EXaCT-1 algorithm on 57 tumors for any mutation in five genes. The test revealed mutations in clinically relevant genes in 82 percent of tested tumors. Researchers report the test can detect mutations with accuracy exceeding 95 percent.

While the test is currently used for oncology purposes, researchers indicate it potentially has broader uses, such as how responsive a patient would be to immunotherapy.

More articles on genomics:

Viewpoint: Privatized data contributes to health inequities, slow scientific progress 
International initiative aims to increase cancer genomics database 
Watson's data capabilities to help VA personalize cancer care for 10,000 veterans 

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