Breast cancer risk-predicter test launched

March 1, 2007 at 3:08 PM
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OKLAHOMA CITY, March 1 (UPI) -- U.S. biotech firm InterGenetics said Thursday it has launched the first genetic-based, breast-cancer-risk test to the global market.

The test, to be sold as OncoVue, uses a patient's personal history and gene-based information to determine future breast-cancer risk.

"OncoVue has undergone over seven years of research, and the genetic information for this test came from the testing of over 8,000 women with and without breast cancer from five geographic regions of the United States, giving us the support to introduce the test to an international market." said Craig Shimasaki, InterGenetics' chief executive officer and president.

InterGenetics said U.K. genetic clinic chain Opaldia will release OncoVue in the United Kingdom and Ireland under an exclusive agreement.

"Many of our patients worry about their risk of developing breast cancer and in the U.K., we have a 'one size fits all' national breast screening program which has the potential to miss cancers in women under 50," said Elaine Warburton, Opaldia's CEO. "OncoVue is a perfect fit for Opaldia's unique breast care program as the test can now identify those women at greater risk of developing sporadic breast cancer and who would therefore benefit from a carefully managed screening program at various stages in their lives."

The OncoVue test involves a medical history questionnaire, followed by use of a mouthwash, which collects cheek cells form the patient for DNA analysis.

The test analyzes combinations of genes, rather than any single gene alone, the company noted.

Research shows genetic and personal medical history combinations have a strong link to women diagnosed with sporadic breast cancer, which accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of all cases, InterGenetics said, adding that age is a major factor for genetic contribution to breast-cancer risk.

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