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Genomic Health's Oncotype DX Test Meets Blue Cross and Blue Shield Standards

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — A Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medical Advisory Panel has decided that Genomic Health’s Oncotype DX assay meets criteria set by the insurance company’s Technology Evaluation Center as a diagnostic for certain breast cancers, Genomic Health said today.
 
At a meeting last month the advisory panel concluded that the test meets its criteria for women with estrogen receptor-positive, node-negative, tamoxifen-treated breast cancer, Genomic Health said.
 
The assessment, which is for "informational purposes only," does not guarantee that Blue Cross and Blue Shield payor companies will cover the test, according to a Blue Cross and Blue Shield official. Blue Cross and Blue Shield payor companies make their own decisions about what they will cover, but may take a scientific assessment into account as they decide what to cover, the official said.
 
The company said the test has clinical evidence of its ability “to predict the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence, the likelihood of patient survival within 10 years of diagnosis and the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit.”

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.