An affiliate of health insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield has announced that it will include whole-genome sequencing of some cancers as a covered benefit, according to Modern Healthcare.
The affiliate, the Philadelphia-based Independence Blue Cross, has entered into an agreement with NantHealth for its cancer test. NantHealth's GPS Cancer test includes whole-genome sequencing of tumor-normal samples as well as RNA sequencing and quantitative protein analysis to guide personalized cancer treatment decisions.
"This platform, we believe, will provide more effective treatment options for patients with cancer," says Patrick Soon-Shiong, the founder and chief executive officer of NantWorks, in a statement.
In its own news release, Independence Blue Cross notes that it will only cover the test for certain cancers, including rare cancers, pediatric tumors, metastatic cancer of unknown primary, primary brain cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, and some metastatic cancers that don't respond to conventional therapies.
"At Independence, we are committed to supporting personalized medicine, enabling patients and their physicians to make better informed decisions," adds Don Liss, vice president of clinical programs and policy at Independence.