WHIPPANY, N.J., May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer announces the launch of Test Your Cancer, a global educational campaign that harnesses the creative power of imagination to help cancer patients better understand that genomic cancer testing is a crucial step in a diagnosis, painting a more precise picture of a person's individual cancer.
Only 25 percent of cancer patients and caregivers report discussing genomic cancer testing with their doctor.1 The results of genomic cancer testing can identify changes in DNA, known as genomic alterations, within cancer cells that determine how a tumor behaves or why it grows. Studies show that 30-49 percent of patients who undergo genomic cancer testing have an alteration that can be matched with approved or investigational treatments.2,3
Cancer diagnoses have traditionally been associated with the tumor location. In the age of precision medicine, physicians now have more information, made available through genomic cancer testing that may change a patient's treatment journey. One example is Bryce Olson, a national advocate and cancer survivor, who is supporting Bayer's educational launch by sharing his story. At 44 years old, Olson was diagnosed with advanced cancer. He faced a poor prognosis and started to lose hope. Then he learned about genomic cancer testing.
"The moment I learned about the role of genomic cancer testing in precision medicine, I demanded it for myself and that action transformed my cancer story; it's the reason I'm still alive today," said Olson. "My advice to any patient facing a cancer diagnosis; get your cancer tested genomically and see what's driving your specific cancer."
For cancer patients, it is important to understand the differences between genomic cancer testing and genetic testing. For example, a genomic cancer test can be useful to understand what is causing a patient's tumor to grow and spread, while a genetic test helps identify inherited gene mutations that pose an increased risk of having cancer.4,5
Patients living with cancer are central to this campaign as they talk about how genomic cancer testing helped them see the real picture. The initiative also provides educational content to guide patients during conversations with their doctors (http://www.testyourcancer.com/). Anyone touched by cancer is encouraged to join the movement by sharing the videos, website content, and using the hashtag #TestYourCancer on social media.
"Genomic cancer testing allows physicians to create a more individualized treatment plan for the patient based on their cancer," said Robert LaCaze, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer's Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of the Oncology Strategic Business Unit at Bayer. "During this important time when innovation in cancer treatment is rapidly evolving, Bayer is encouraging genomic cancer testing from the start of a diagnosis, in order to make well-informed treatment decisions based on the patient's cancer."
The Test Your Cancer campaign makes available a suite of educational materials including a brochure, patient-doctor discussion guide, fact sheet describing what occurs during a genomic cancer test, and an infographic explaining how genomic cancer testing differs from genetic testing.
About Genomic Cancer Testing
It is important for patients diagnosed with cancer to discuss genomic cancer testing with their doctor. Genomic cancer testing personalizes cancer care. It paints a more precise picture of individual cancers by identifying DNA alterations, or changes, within cancer cells that determine how a tumor behaves or why it grows.6 Genomic cancer testing may help doctors match patients to approved or investigational therapies based on the specific alteration identified. Visit www.TestYourCancer.com to learn more about genomic cancer testing.
About Oncology at Bayer
Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The oncology franchise at Bayer includes five marketed products and several other assets in various stages of clinical development. Together, these products reflect the company's approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cancer is treated.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
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1 Morning Consult. Survey Finds Majority of Cancer Patients and Caregivers Are Open to Personalized Medicine as a Result of Genomic Testing. Survey Infographic. 2018.
2 Boland GM, Piha-Paul SA, Subbiah V, et al. Clinical next generation sequencing to identify actionable aberrations in a phase I program. Oncotarget. 2015;6(24):20099-20110.
3 Massard C, Michiels S, Ferte C, et al. High-throughput genomics and clinical outcome in hard-to-treat advanced cancers: results of the MOSCATO 01 trial. Cancer Discov. 2017;7(6):586-595.
4 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. What is Genomic Testing? https://blog.dana-farber.org/insight/2018/11/what-is-genomic-testing. Published 2018. Accessed April 2019.
5 American Cancer Society. Understanding Genetic Testing for Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/genetics/understanding-genetic-testing-for-cancer.html. Accessed April 2019.
6 Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Advanced genomic testing. https://www.cancercenter.com/treatments/cancer-genomics/. Accessed April 2019.