SNP-based Predictor of Risk for 17 Common Cancers

The multi-cancer panel provides an inexpensive and convenient personalized genetic report that outperforms family history as a predictor of risk for 17 common cancers, including high incidence cancers reported by the NIH: colorectal, breast, ovarian, prostate and lung.


Many cancer deaths could be avoided through proactive screening – a method of identifying asymptomatic cancer at an early and treatable stage, and the first step in preventing some cancers.

Currently, screening guidelines are informed largely by family history, which stratifies risk for various cancers and in turn, informs the timing and frequency of cancer screening.

Current methods of cancer risk assessment (i.e. family history) underreport the extent of cancer due to:

  • Limited knowledge of family history
  • Inaccurate or false memory of events and outcomes in relatives
  • Complexity of blended families
  • Cultural variability in openness of family members about medical histories
  • Cancer type, location and severity may not lead to accurate correlations
  • Different risk among siblings and cannot assess personal cancer risk

Family history does not differentiate risk among siblings and cannot provide a personalized cancer risk assessment.


The multi-cancer panel is a blood- or saliva-based test that can be administered in the primary care setting. The test identifies many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) throughout the DNA that together generate a measure of risk for 17 common cancers. A resulting genetic risk score is calculated from a combination of risk-associated SNPs.

The test kit includes a microarray chip containing the known cancer risk-associated SNPs, a software package used to calculate a genetic risk score for each cancer from genotype, and a visual aid for physicians and patients to facilitate the interpretation and understanding of results.

The multi-cancer panel identifies higher-risk individuals for whom targeted cancer screening protocols and preventative interventions would be beneficial.

Competitive Benefits



  • Delivered in the primary care setting
  • Requires a simple blood draw
  • Single test predicts risk for 17 different cancers
  • Results are available within 2 – 3 weeks

Genetic risk score is a direct measurement of individual risk

  • GRS is especially informative for individuals without a family history
  • Unlike family history, GRS can differentiate risk among siblings

Objective, personalized and does not change over time

Increased eligible population

  • Currently, genetic risk assessment tests are offered only to those with a strong family history of disease
  • This test can be offered to every man and woman in the general population

Clinical Benefits

Outperforms family history as a predictor of cancer risk

Can supplement family history to better define cancer risk

  • Higher rate of cancer detection with family history and GRS vs. family history alone (12% vs. 4%)
  • Lower false positive rate with family history and GRS vs. family history alone (2.1 vs. 2.6)

Could eventually reduces risks associated with over-screening and over-treatment

Enables personalized screening strategy to detect cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage

Facilitates prophylactic intervention (e.g. prophylactic treatment for colon cancer may include an aspirin regime)

Application Fields

Primary care
Preventative cancer screening

Stage of Development

Available for CLIA approval as a laboratory-developed test
Available for clinical testing as an in vitro diagnostic


Jianfeng Xu, PhD, Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research


Cancer; colorectal; breast; ovarian; prostate; and lung; diagnostic; fisk; prognostic; SNP; microarray; family history; personalized medicine

Patent Status

US Utility Application# 14/883,188


Sun J, Na R, Hsu FC, Zheng SL, Wiklund F, Condreay LD, Trent JM, Xu J. Genetic score is an objective and better measurement of inherited risk of prostate cancer than family history. Eur Urol. 2013 Mar;63(3):585-7

Licensing Contact

Peter Golikov, MBA
Licensing Director
Center for Technology Innovation & Commercialization

Reference #: WFU 14-94

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