Briefly, the test determines if the PTEN gene is functioning properly, as it is a tumor suppressor gene that is linked with cell regulation. If patients have a low level of the protein, studies have shown a progression of the cancer, while if the levels remain higher, the less chances of the cancer progressing, thus it appears the test can help determine a personalized approach to do battle with cancer, again based on the levels of the PTEN gene in each individual.
The press release also comments about the low levels contribute to the body resisting different cancer drugs with various types of cancer, so this appears to be a break through that will further define cancer treatment plans for patients in order to hopefully bring about a more successful outcome. No word on whether or not this will be covered by insurance plans, but that could come later. BD
Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN) (www.myriad.com) announced today that it is launching its sixth molecular diagnostic product, Prezeon(TM). The product will be marketed to researchers and physicians to assist them in understanding the status of the PTEN gene, which plays a major role in critical cell-signaling pathways. These pathways have been implicated in cancer progression and provide important information that may guide therapeutic decisions. The price per Prezeon test is $500.
Myriad discovered the PTEN gene, as reported in the journal Nature Genetics in 1997, and has been awarded four U.S. patents and has several additional patents pending on the PTEN gene, protein and antibody, as well as their use in molecular diagnostic assays. PTEN has been shown to be involved in many cancers, including cancer of the prostate, breast, colon, lung, brain, skin, uterus, kidney, bladder, blood, ovary and lymphatic system.
PTEN is a major component of the mTOR and EGFR cell-signaling pathways that are targeted by many cancer drugs and it is believed to play an important role in determining a patient's sensitivity to a range of cancer chemotherapeutics. PTEN loss is associated with resistance to certain drugs and sensitivity to others, suggesting the potential to determine the most effective chemotherapy for patients. In prostate cancer, PTEN loss has been correlated with onset of androgen-independent growth in tumors. In breast cancer treatment, several recent studies have shown an association between PTEN loss of function and resistance to Herceptin® in HER2-positive patients.