Bayer and Neogenomics to provide RNA sequencing-based testing for NTRK gene fusion at no cost for people living with advanced thyroid and colorectal cancers

  • Bayer to cover testing costs for patients with RAI-refractory (RAI-R) differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) and metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H)
  • The results of a genomic cancer test can help healthcare providers determine appropriate treatment plans for people with an NTRK gene fusion
  • NTRK gene fusions can drive tumor growth and are more common in MSI-H mCRC and RAI-R DTC cases than other subtypes1-3

Bayer today announced the launch of Test4TRK™ program in collaboration with NeoGenomics, Inc. to offer genomic cancer testing for NTRK gene fusions at no cost for patients with RAI-refractory (RAI-R) differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) and metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H). NTRK gene fusions, which have been shown to drive tumor growth, are more commonly found in patients with MSI-H mCRC and RAI-R DTC and may play a role in disease management.1-3 Bayer will cover the full cost of the test regardless of the results, treatment decision and patient’s insurance coverage. All eligible patients who enroll and opt-in to the program will receive an RNA-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) test, NTRK NGS Fusion Profile. Patients with an adequate tissue sample will also receive a Pan-Tropomyosin receptor kinase (Pan-TRK) Immunohistochemistry (IHC) test.

Healthcare professionals and patients can visit www.Test4TRK.com to learn more and download the test request form or call Bayer Medical Communications at +1-888-84BAYER (+1-888-842-2937) for questions on NTRK gene fusions and TRK fusion cancer.

“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 S. Brose, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Rare Cancers and Personalized Therapy at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and an Associate Professor in Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, who collaborated on the development of 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.”

Genomic cancer testing helps detect changes in a tumor’s DNA, called genomic alterations, that can determine how the cancer behaves and why it grows or spreads.4 30-49 percent of patients who undergo genomic cancer testing may have actionable genomic alterations, meaning the alterations can be matched to treatments that have been approved or are in clinical trials.5,6

“After receiving a cancer diagnosis, patients and their loved ones critically need information that can help guide the course of their treatment journey,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC). “The Test4TRK program aligns with our commitment to empowering patients with educational resources. Colorectal cancer patients need to be armed with biomarker testing because their biomarkers can have an impact on treatment decisions, especially MSI-H. This can inform treatment plans and reduce financial barriers that could prevent some patients from receiving personalized care.”

Bayer has developed this program in collaboration with patient organizations Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. (ThyCa) and Fight CRC as well as Marcia S. Brose, MD, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Brose serves in an advisory role for Bayer and receives honoraria and funding for research support.

The Test4TRK program provides testing for an NTRK gene fusion, which occurs when an NTRK gene joins together, or fuses, with a different, unrelated gene. The NTRK gene fusion creates certain proteins (TRK fusion proteins) that can cause cancer cells to multiply and form a tumor.1 Cancers with NTRK gene fusions can occur in tumors that originate in different sites in the body in varying frequencies and are called TRK fusion cancers.7

“It is critical cancer patients have access to genomic testing for NTRK gene fusions to inform treatment decisions,” said Joseph Germino, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs, Oncology at Bayer. “Bayer is providing the Test4TRK program as part of our continued efforts to empower the community and help increase the accuracy of cancer diagnoses to improve patient outcomes.”

About the Test4TRK Program
Test4TRK is a Bayer-sponsored program offering laboratory testing for NTRK gene fusions (histology and molecular subject to tissue availability) at no cost to eligible patients with RAI-refractory (RAI-R) differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) and metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H). The test results provide information on whether the tumor harbors an NTRK gene fusion to aid in the treatment decision. Bayer will cover the full cost of the test regardless of the test results, treatment decision and patient’s insurance coverage for up to 500 patients in the U.S. Bayer will not cover the associated costs of extracting a viable tumor specimen. For more information, visit www.Test4TRK.com.

Source –Business Wire

References:
1 Amatu A, Sartore-Bianchi A, Siena S. NTRK gene fusions as novel targets of cancer therapy across multiple tumour types. ESMO Open 2016;1:e000023. doi:10.1136/esmoopen-2015- 000023.
2 Cocco, E, Benhamida, J, Middha, S et al. Colorectal Carcinomas Containing Hypermethylated MLH1 Promoter and Wild-Type BRAF/KRAS Are Enriched for Targetable Kinase Fusions. Cancer Res 2019;79(6):1047-1053. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-3126.
3 Van der Tuin K, Ventayol Garcia M, Corver W E, et al. Targetable Gene fusions Identified in Radioactive Iodine Refractory Advanced Thyroid Carcinoma. Eur J Endocrinol. 2019;180(4):235-241. doi:10.1530/EJE-18-0653.
4 Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Advanced genomic testing. https://www.cancercenter.com/treatment-options/precision-medicine/advanced-genomic-testing. Accessed March 2020.
5 Boland GM, Piha-Paul SA, Subbiah V, et al. Clinical next generation sequencing to identify actionable aberrations in a phase I program. Oncotarget. 2015;6(24):20099-20110.
6 Massard C, Michiels S, Ferte C, et al. High-throughput genomics and clinical outcome in hard-to-treat advanced cancers: results of the MOSCATO 01 trial. Cancer Discov. 2017;7(6):586-595.
7 Vaishnavi A, Le AT, Doebele RC. TRKing Down and Old Oncogene in New Era of Targeted Therapy. Cancer Discov. 2015;5(1):25-34. DOI:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-140765.

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