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Quest India offers BRCAvantage genetic testing for inherited breast and ovarian cancers

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Monday, February 3, 2014, 17:10 Hrs  [IST]

Quest Diagnostics India has announced the availability of BRCAvantage, a suite of lab-developed genetic tests (LDT) that identify mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are associated with increased risk of inherited breast and ovarian cancers.

The test offering in India follows Quest’s introduction of BRCAvantage to the United States in October 2013, and expands on the company’s goal to provide a wider menu of advanced cancer services in India.  The BRCAvantage service for India provides several of the same features as the service in the United States. These include the use of advanced next-generation sequencing technologies by the Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute in San Juan Capistrano, California, United States and access to genetic counselling in India to help patients and clinicians assess whether testing is appropriate. Patients can also access free home-collection services in 25 cities across India.

The BRCAvantage test helps to identify mutations (abnormal changes) in two genes. These genes are called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are responsible for increasing the risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and associated cancers in women, and for prostate and breast cancer among men.

Based on medical guidelines, BRCA testing is recommended for people with an immediate family member diagnosed with breast cancer at age 45 or younger; a personal history of breast cancer at age 45 or younger; a family member diagnosed with ovarian cancer at any age; a personal or family history of both breast and ovarian cancers on the same side of the family; a personal or family history of male breast cancer or a personal or family history of bilateral breast cancer (both breasts).

Commenting on the initiative Mukul Bagga, managing director, Quest Diagnostics India, said, “BRCAvantage is aimed at increasing access to testing for at-risk patients and leveraging the diagnostic insights for making empowered health choices. Advanced, high quality cancer testing services are not as widely available in India as in some other developed countries. This new offering demonstrates our passion for bringing in the latest technological innovation and expertise in cancer diagnostics to India. It also shows our commitment to providing diagnostic insights that can help create a healthier world, and we are pleased to help more people in India access this important service.”

Dr Anurag Bansal, Head of Medical, Quest Diagnostics India, added, “Ensuring that patients and individuals have access to a genetic test that has clinical value is important. Patients need to understand their cancer risks so they can make the most informed and timeliest decisions about their health. Although not every individual needs to get tested for BRCA mutations, now that the test is more widely available, patients who could benefit from BRCA testing will be able to access this service from a quality provider.”

Quest Diagnostics India operates a state-of-the-art 65,000 square feet laboratory in Gurgaon and has logistics and collection capabilities in 25 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad, Kochi and others.


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