Faster, Cheaper BRCA Gene-Testing Process Has Helped 1,000 UK Cancer Patients

Faster, Cheaper BRCA Gene-Testing Process Has Helped 1,000 UK Cancer Patients
One-thousand patients with ovarian cancer (OC) and breast cancer (BC) have now gained access to a faster BRCA gene-testing process due to an innovative approach developed by U.K. researchers that is showing positive outcomes. The testing process was created through the Mainstreaming Cancer Genetics programme, funded by the Wellcome Trust, with researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London. The approach stemmed from a pilot program in 2013, developed by ICR researchers and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. The pilot gained attention quickly and in 2014, eligible cancer patients gained access to mainstream gene testing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and the process became routine practice at the Royal Marsden. Since 2014, 1,000 cancer patients have undergone gene testing using this new process, which does not increase costs. These 1,000 patients received "mainstream" gene testing through an innovative process that makes it more affordable for cancer patients. Until now cancer patients could access gene testing only if referred to a genetics clinic, even if they were eligible for testing. The new routine cancer clinic appointments aim to facilitate a more efficient and patient-centered testing. "There were two main problems with the traditional system for gene testing. Firstly, gene itself testing was slow and expensive, and secondly the process for accessing gene testing was slow and complex,” Nazneen Rahman, professor and head of cancer genetics at ICR, said in a press release. "We used new DNA
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