Determining Tumor Origin May Be Useful in Cancer Treatment Decisions
SALT LAKE CITY, UT, April 18, 2007--Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN) (www.myriad.com) announced today that it presented studies for a new technology that might be used to determine the original location of a metastatic tumor, on Monday, April 16, 2007 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Los Angeles, California. This work could also prove helpful in determining whether any two tumors are related, and was carried out in collaboration with researchers from Magee-Womens Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Tumor origin can play an important role in choosing among treatment options for cancer patients. A difficult problem in treating some gynecological malignancies is determining the primary site of tumor origin. This is particularly apparent when cancer simultaneously involves both the ovary and endometrium. Myriad has developed a technology based on DNA copy number analysis, which may be used to accurately distinguish between the different possible originating or primary tumors.
The preliminary data from Myriad's study came from patient specimens with diagnoses of simultaneous ovarian and endometrial cancers. Three separate specimens were collected and analyzed for DNA copy number from each patient, one from the ovarian tumor, one from the endometrial tumor and one from normal unaffected tissue.
In many cases, pathologists may be unable to distinguish between related tumors and separate primary tumors due to the uncertain nature of the pathology results. The copy number analysis either confirmed conclusions from pathological examination, or provided new information that could be used to give a more positive determination of tumor source. Copy number analysis can show that both tumors share a change that is not present in the unaffected specimen. If one of the tumors has many more additional changes than the other, it may be considered the secondary, or metastatic tumor. In our preliminary data set, copy number conclusions were subsequently confirmed by re-sequencing the PTEN tumor suppressor gene for mutations.
"We are excited about the potential of our copy number analysis technology to differentiate cancers of different types," said Jerry Lanchbury, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research for Myriad Genetics, Inc. "We anticipate further development of the technology for possible commercial introduction in the future."
Myriad Genetics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel healthcare products. The Company develops and markets predictive medicine products, and is developing and intends to market therapeutic products. Myriad's news and other information are available on the Company's Web site at www.myriad.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within
the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. These forward-looking statements include those related to the
potential for copy number analysis to be used to determine the
original location of a metastatic tumor or to prove helpful in
determining whether any two tumors are related; and the further
development of the copy number technology for possible commercial
introduction in the future. These risks and uncertainties include,
but are not limited to, our inability to further identify, develop
and achieve commercial success for new products and technologies;
our ability to discover drugs that are safer and more efficacious
than our competitors; our ability to develop molecular diagnostic
products that help assess which patients are subject to greater
risk of developing diseases and who would therefore benefit from
new preventive therapies; the possibility of
delays in the research
and development necessary to select drug development candidates and
delays in clinical trials; the risk that clinical trials may not
result in marketable products; the risk that we may be unable to
successfully finance and secure regulatory approval of and market
our drug candidates, or that clinical trials will be completed on
the timelines we have estimated; uncertainties about our ability to
obtain new corporate collaborations and acquire new technologies on
satisfactory terms, if at all; the development of competing
products and services; our ability to protect our proprietary
technologies; patent-infringement claims; risks of new, changing
and competitive technologies and regulations in the United States
and internationally; and other factors discussed under the heading
"Risk Factors" contained in Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form
10-K for the year ended June 30, 2006, which has been filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as any updates to
those risk factors filed from time to time in our Quarterly Reports
on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. All information in
this press release is as of the date of the release, and Myriad
undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by