Myriad Genetics has formed a collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to assess the use of minimal residual disease (MRD) testing in patients with breast cancer.

The research project will leverage Myriad’s MRD testing platform, a tumour-informed high-definition assay based on whole-genome sequencing, to attain high sensitivity and specificity for circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA).

Myriad is collaborating with Dr Pedram Razavi, a breast medical oncologist and MSK Global Biomarker Development Program’s liquid biopsy and genomics director.

The MSK research team will study the use of MRD testing for patients in two breast cancer cohorts.

The study will initially focus on patients with metastatic cancer who have received CDK4/6 inhibitors. It will assess the potential of MRD testing for predicting treatment response.

Meanwhile, the second will focus on the neoadjuvant setting and evaluate MRD testing in association with chemotherapy treatment response.

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Myriad Genetics chief scientific officer Dale Muzzey said: “Several publications show that MRD testing provides prognostic information about cancer recurrence, but the studies we are undertaking with MSK will be among the first few to assess the predictive benefit of MRD testing associated with particular treatments.

“Because we use whole-genome sequencing to inform our MRD assay, we often have thousands of tumour-specific sites to track rather than the tens of sites available in other MRD assays.”

Myriad’s MRD test is accessible for collaborative research studies involving the company, academic researchers and pharmaceutical investigators.

It can be deployed for continuous monitoring of ctDNA levels in cancer patients from the moment of diagnosis and throughout their journey to survivorship.