Pathwork Diagnostics Inc, a privately held molecular diagnostics company focused on oncology, announced today that its Pathwork® Tissue of Origin Test is now covered by SelectHealth, the health insurance arm of Intermountain Healthcare. The Tissue of Origin Test helps identify the primary tumor in difficult-to-diagnose cancer cases, such as those that are metastatic or with a complex clinical history.

“The choice of our test as the only gene expression-based test for tumor tissue of origin covered by SelectHealth reflects the exceptional performance and the robust science underlying the test,” commented Deborah J. Neff, CEO, Pathwork Diagnostics.

Difficult cases, including metastatic tumors as well as undifferentiated or poorly differentiated tumors, are frustrating for both physicians and patients and expensive to the health care system. For such tumors, existing diagnostic technologies, including imaging and immunohistochemistry, are subjective, time-consuming, and often do not produce a definitive diagnosis. Knowing the primary tumor site—and thus what type of cancer the patient has—with greater certainty enables more appropriate cancer treatment, especially with the increased availability of new, targeted cancer therapies.

A study presented at the ASCO 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium showed that after receiving the Tissue of Origin Test results for patients with difficult-to-diagnose primary cancers, oncologists’ determination of the primary diagnosis was changed in the majority of patients and cancer-specific management changed for two-thirds of the patients. A majority of the oncologists identified the Tissue of Origin Test results as influencing the decision to make a change in therapy.5

The Pathwork Tissue of Origin Test is the only FDA-cleared molecular diagnostic test for tissue of origin. The test has been extensively evaluated in multiple independent studies involving more than 1,100 patient specimens, including large validation studies published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.