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What You Need to Know About the Newly Updated ASCO-SSO Guidelines

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New American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)-Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) guidelines were released last week greatly expanding the age at which genetic testing for breast cancer is recommended.

  • ASCO now recommends testing for those with a new diagnosis or personal history of breast cancer at age 65 and younger (vs. existing guidance recommending testing to those diagnosed at age 50 and younger)

  • ASCO also recommends genetic testing for patients older than 65, if they meet certain additional criteria, such as those that:
    • Are candidates for PARP inhibitor therapy
    • Have triple-negative disease,
    • Have a family or personal history suggestive of hereditary cancer,
    • Were assigned male sex at birth, or
    • Have Ashkenazi Jewish (or another) ancestry known to have an increased prevalence of founder variants

  • This is great news for patients as it will allow for greater access to actionable genetic insights that can significantly impact medical treatment, as providers expand who they test and as payers begin to incorporate these recommendations into their policies and reduce patient out-of-pocket costs.

  • This guideline expansion is yet another example of how genetic insights are being more broadly weaved into healthcare. And is on theme with other recent studies expanding the clinical applications of germline genetic testing.

  • In fact, we are at a critical juncture where ensuring that genomics is a key part of your strategy today will play a large role in your ability to provide evidence-based patient care in the near-term. This is especially important in a time where health systems everywhere have already begun to place genomics at the center of their precision health strategies.

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