Quest, French Agency Launch Cancer Gene Data Sharing Project

April 21, 2015 in News

On Tuesday, New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics and France’s national health agency announced the launch of a data sharing initiative to help improve knowledge of patients’ genetic risks of developing ovarian or breast cancer, Reuters reports.

Initiative Details

The initiative, called BRCA Share, aims to better analyze the link between the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and cancer risk by creating a larger pool of data. According to Reuters, diagnostic laboratories do not always share genetic information gleaned from DNA testing, which can pose a problem for labs with smaller databases that wish to analyze gene mutations.

The initiative will build upon the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research Institution’s database, which contains the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing data from 16 labs that are part of the Unicancer Genetic Group (Humer, Reuters, 4/21).

Laboratory Corporation of America will be the initiative’s first participant, and Charles Strom, senior medical director of genetics for Quest, said he expects to see participating labs from around the world (Miller, USA Today, 4/21).

Participants will share de-identified clinical laboratory patient data on the cancer genes.

Individuals with a research-only focus and research organizations will have access to the data at no cost (Quest release, 4/21). Meanwhile, private laboratories will pay Quest an annual fee to access the database, which could range from tens of thousands of dollars to up to hundreds of thousands of dollars (Reuters, 4/21).

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