Description of Medical ServiceTesting of blood for germline BRCA 1/2 mutations in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. The purpose of the test is to determine eligibility for PBS olaparib (i.e. treatment of patients whose disease does not progress following first line treatment with platinum based chemotherapy).
Description of Medical ConditionPancreatic cancer has one of the lowest 5 year survival rates with a 9.8% survival rate for the period 2011-2015. The prognosis of this cancer has not improved significantly over the past 20 years, and the incidence and mortality rates are very similar. A total of 3307 cases of pancreatic cancer were reported in 2015, with 2911 deaths due to pancreatic cancer in 2016. It is estimated that pancreatic cancer will be the fourth most common cause of death due to cancer in 2019. The poor prognosis for pancreatic cancer is directly related to late diagnosis, when the disease is often locally advanced or metastatic, and surgery is not an option. Carriers of germline mutations in BRCA1/2 genes are known to have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer with up to 7% of unselected pancreatic cancer cases having a germline BRCA 1/2 mutation.
Reason for ApplicationNew MBS item
Medical Service TypeInvestigative
Previous Application Number/sNot Applicable
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