Breast cancer panel halves turnaround time

Answers from the Lab

National guidelines recommend testing for genetic mutations in breast cancer to quickly guide care decisions.  In this test-specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Wei Shen, Ph.D., explains how Mayo Clinic Laboratories' new breast cancer panel provides rapid results to guide critical decisions about treatment and screening.

"This panel has been carefully designed to balance clinical utility, diagnostic yields, and future-proofing to generate the most impactful genetic testing results," Dr. Shen says. "The average turnaround time about 10 days, whereas the standard time is typically three weeks."

The next generation sequencing panel includes 11 genes in alignment with NCCN guidelines, and covers both high-risk and moderate-risk genes, to avoid reflex testing. The panel is designed for patients with a breast cancer diagnosis when genetic testing can affect decisions about surgery, targeted therapies, and screening.

"Mayo Clinic's broad expertise and integrated practice allow us to offer a one-stop shop to clinicians," Dr. Shen says. "We have a dedicated team of genetic counselors who can assist clinicians in determining the most appropriate genetic test based on the needs of their patients, and also help providers understand test results."

Listen to learn more about Mayo Clinic Laboratories' rapid breast cancer panel.

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Useful information

  • Establishing a diagnosis of a hereditary breast cancer syndrome allowing for surgical and management decision making.
  • Therapeutic eligibility with poly adenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors based on certain gene alterations (eg, BRCA1, BRCA2) in selected tumor types.
  • Evaluation for patients with breast cancer who have a personal history suggestive of a hereditary breast or gynecological cancer syndrome.
  • Identifying genetic variants associated with increased risk for breast cancer, allowing for predictive testing and appropriate screening of at-risk family members.

Specimen requirements

Patient Preparation: A previous bone marrow transplant from an allogenic donor will interfere with testing. Call 800-533-1710 for instructions for testing patients who have received a bone marrow transplant.

Specimen Type: Whole blood

Container/Tube: Lavender top (EDTA) or yellow top (ACD)

Acceptable: Any anticoagulant

Specimen Volume: 3 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Invert several times to mix blood.

2. Send whole blood specimen in original tube. Do not aliquot.

Specimen Stability Information: Ambient (preferred)/Refrigerated

Performance information

Analytic time: 10-14 days

Days performed: varies

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Barbara J. Toman

Barbara J. Toman is a Senior Communications Specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is also the science writer for Mayo’s Neurosciences Update newsletter, which helps referring physicians to stay informed about Mayo’s treatment and research. Barbara has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2007. She enjoys international travel and cooking.