Austin, Sep 28, 2018 (Issuewire.com) – THIS YEAR, NEARLY 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. Most will find out in the usual way; after having tiny blobs of tissue slurped up through a needle, smeared and stained on a slide, and put under the discerning eye of a pathologist. Medicare patients will have access to a more 21st-century diagnostic: Their cells can now be sequenced, matching patients with the drugs most likely to make a difference.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that the federal health care program will cover the costs of cancer gene tests that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Even if youre not of retirement age, you should think this is a big deal. Private insurers take their marching orders from what Medicare does and doesnt cover. Which means that genetic testing just became routine care for patients with advanced cancers. And that means precision medicine has finally broken into the mainstream.
The 324-gene panel test was recently approved by the FDA. It detects mutations across all solid tumor types associated with 15 already-approved targeted cancer drugs. DNA cancer testing could have a much broader impact worldwide. Testing will generate huge volumes of genomic data on Medicare patients, whose treatments and outcomes can be easily tracked. All of that will help hospitals and companies gather evidence to validate their own tests, and help pharma companies fill their targeted treatment trials with genetically-matched patients, as well as possibly cure cancer in the future.
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This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.
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