NEW YORK – Bayer and NeoGenomics on Tuesday launched Test4TRK, a program offering no-cost NTRK gene fusion testing to patients with RAI-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer with high microsatellite instability.
NTRK fusions are known to drive cancers, and since they tend to occur in RAI-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer with MSI-high status, testing patients for this biomarker may aid in their disease management.
Within the program, Bayer will cover the cost of testing for up to 500 patients in the US, but not the costs of extracting a tumor specimen. Enrolled patients will be tested by NeoGenomics on an RNA-based next-generation sequencing test, called NTRK NGS Fusion Profile. If patients have sufficient tissue, they will also receive the Pan-Tropomyosin Receptor Kinase Immunohistochemistry test.
"The results of a genomic cancer test may be a deciding factor in treatment selection, especially for patients with differentiated thyroid cancer who have limited options," said Marcia Brose, director of the Center for Rare Cancers and Personalized Therapy at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and a collaborator in developing the testing platform. "If we implement comprehensive genomic testing early upon diagnosis to uncover NTRK gene fusions, we may have a deeper understanding of patients' tumors in aiding treatment decisions."
Brose serves in an advisory capacity for Bayer and receives honoraria and funding for research. In addition to working with Brose, drugmaker Bayer developed the Test4TRK program in collaboration with patient organizations Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association and Fight Colorectal Cancer.