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Myriad Genetics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Partner to Study MRD Testing in Breast Cancer

NEW YORK – Myriad Genetics on Monday said it is partnering with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to study the use of Myriad's minimal residual disease (MRD) testing platform in predicting breast cancer treatment response.

Myriad's test monitors circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) levels via whole-genome sequencing, which the company says can vastly improve test accuracy.

"Because we use whole-genome sequencing to inform our MRD assay, we often have thousands of tumor-specific sites to track rather than the tens of sites available in other MRD assays," Myriad CSO Dale Muzzey said in a statement. "The increased number of sites is particularly important in breast cancer, which tends to have low tumor fraction, so having more sites is critical to detecting low-level cancer with confidence."

The team will investigate treatment response prediction in a metastatic patient population treated with CDK4/6 inhibitors, as well as the association of MRD testing with chemotherapy treatment response in a neoadjuvant setting.

Myriad researchers will work with Pedram Razavi, a breast medical oncologist and the director of liquid biopsy and genomics at MSK's Global Biomarker Development Program.

"We anticipate the MRD test from Myriad will be more sensitive and specific than many other ctDNA offerings for monitoring the response and, therefore, may more accurately identify the patients who will or will not benefit from certain therapies," Razavi said, adding that some patients may go undetected on a less sensitive MRD test.

"We are further excited by the prospect of using a combined tumor tissue and ctDNA approach to predict and detect when and how tumors acquire resistance, such that the therapeutic regimen can adapt accordingly," he said.

Earlier this year, Myriad partnered with MD Anderson Cancer Center to study MRD testing in guiding treatment, conducting surveillance, and predicting radiotherapy response in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.