In each of us lives a rather remarkable system known as mismatch repair. This naturally occurring machinery works around the clock to vigilantly scan our DNA, searching for errors in replication. When defects are found, mismatch repair - or MMR - goes to work to correct them, preventing future health problems, like cancer.
Think of it as autocorrect for our DNA.
When this mechanism goes awry and cancer cells grow, MMR biomarkers in these cells can provide valuable clues on how to best treat the disease.
In April 2021, Roche Diagnostics received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the first companion diagnostic test based on MMR biomarkers to determine which endometrial cancer patients are eligible for immunotherapy. And this may just be the beginning, as approval for the test is expected to expand to additional cancer types and therapies.
Identifying patients likely to benefit from immunotherapy, which is treatment that stimulates the body’s immune system to attack and kill cancer cells, is a powerful tool in the fight against this disease.