Novartis Offers Free Genetic Mutation Testing Program for Advanced Melanoma Patients; Results Can Help Doctors and Patients Making Cancer Treatment Decisions

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

From: PR Newswire

– BRAF mutation status is an important factor when choosing a first-line therapy for patients with stage III and stage IV melanoma

The Know Now Testing Program covers cost of this genetic mutation testing

The Know Now Testing Program, a Novartis initiative in collaboration with Quest Diagnostics, offers genetic mutation testing at no cost for all patients with stage III or stage IV melanoma. Melanoma is an aggressive and often deadly form of skin cancer. Nearly 100,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma this year and approximately seven percent will die from melanoma1. Nearly half of all advanced melanoma patients carry a specific mutation, called BRAF. It’s important for patients to get tested and know their BRAF status as it is a key piece of information when evaluating treatment options2.

Results from tests completed under the Know Now Testing Program are available approximately 48 hours after a Quest Diagnostics laboratory receives a sample, which could lead to timely and optimal treatment decisions. To access the Know Now program and its no-cost testing, healthcare professionals should visit and download the BRAF Test Request Form.

“At Novartis, we know that understanding potential mutations is critical for melanoma patients and their doctors to make informed treatment decisions,” said Ameet Mallik, Executive Vice President and Head, US, Novartis Oncology. “We recognize the barriers that often keep patients from being tested. That’s why we’re empowering the melanoma community with this Know Now Testing Program.”

People diagnosed with stage III or stage IV melanoma can ask their doctor about BRAF testing and the Know Now Testing Program to access its no-cost testing benefit. Healthcare professionals can also visit

About Melanoma
In 2018, there were about 280,000 new diagnoses of melanoma (stages 0-IV) worldwide3, approximately half of which have BRAF mutations4. Biomarker tests can determine whether a tumor has a BRAF mutation5.

The stages of melanoma are determined by how far it has spread. In stage III melanoma, tumors have spread to the regional sites, presenting a higher risk of recurrence or further spreading6. Patients who receive surgical treatment for Stage III melanoma may have a high risk of recurrence because melanoma cells may remain in the body after surgery. Please talk to your doctor if you have questions on BRAF testing or for more information on treatment options. To learn more about Know Now, please visit

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 105,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at

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  1. Key Statistics for Melanoma Skin Cancer. American Cancer Society. Available at: Accessed May 15, 2019.
  2. Melanoma Skin Cancer. American Cancer Society. Available at: Accessed December 1, 2015.
  3. Globocan. World Fact Sheet. Available at Accessed October 10, 2018.
  4. Schandendorf D, et al. Melanoma. Nature reviews Disease Primers. 2015.
  5. Wilson MA, Molecular Testing in Melanoma. NCBI. 2012.
  6. American Cancer Society. Melanoma Skin Cancer Stages. Available at: Accessed October 10, 2018.
  7. Melanoma Research Alliance. Adjuvant Therapy. Available at Accessed October 10, 2018.