Medical Policy: 02.04.64 

Original Effective Date: November 2016 

Reviewed: November 2018 

Revised: November 2018 

 

Benefit Application:

Benefit determinations are based on the applicable contract language in effect at the time the services were rendered. Exclusions, limitations or exceptions may apply. Benefits may vary based on contract, and individual member benefits must be verified. Wellmark determines medical necessity only if the benefit exists and no contract exclusions are applicable. This medical policy may not apply to FEP. Benefits are determined by the Federal Employee Program.

 

This Medical Policy document describes the status of medical technology at the time the document was developed. Since that time, new technology may have emerged or new medical literature may have been published. This Medical Policy will be reviewed regularly and be updated as scientific and medical literature becomes available.

 

Description:

Numerous genetic mutations are associated with inherited cancer syndromes. Patients may have a personal and/or family history of cancer that suggests that the cancer is syndrome-related. Some patients may meet clinical criteria for 1 or more hereditary cancer syndromes, and it has been proposed that mutation testing using next-generation sequencing technology to analyze multiple genes at 1 time (panel testing) can optimize testing in these patients compared to testing for individual mutations.

 

For individuals who have a personal and/or family history suggesting an inherited cancer syndrome who receive sequencing panel, the evidence includes mainly reports describing the frequency of detecting mutations in patients referred for panel testing. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test accuracy, and test validity. Published data on analytic validity is lacking, but it has been reported to be high, approaching that of direct sequencing of individual genes. Clinical validity studies have generally reported the results of the frequency with which mutations are identified using large panels, and occasionally have reported the variant of unknown significance rate. Published data on clinical utility is lacking, and it is unknown whether use of these panels improves health outcomes. Many panels include mutations that are considered to be of moderate or low penetrance, and management guidelines are not well-defined in these patients, leading to the potential for harm in identifying one of these non-highly penetrant mutations. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

 

Commercially available cancer susceptibility mutation panels can test for multiple mutations associated with a specific type of cancer or can include mutations associated with a wide variety of cancers. Mutations included in these panels are associated with varying levels of risk of developing cancer, and only some mutations included on panels are associated with a high risk of developing a well-defined cancer syndrome for which there are established clinical management guidelines. Clinical management recommendations for the inherited conditions associated with low-to-moderate penetrance are not standardized, and the clinical utility of genetic testing for these mutations is uncertain and could lead to harm. In addition, high rates of variants of uncertain significance have been reported with these panels.

 

For individuals who have a personal and/or family history suggesting an inherited cancer syndrome who receive testing with a next-generation sequencing panel, the evidence includes mainly reports describing the frequency of detecting mutations in patients referred for panel testing. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test accuracy, and test validity. Published data on analytic validity is lacking, but it has been reported to be high, approaching that of direct sequencing of individual genes. Clinical validity studies have generally reported the results of the frequency with which mutations are identified using large panels, and occasionally have reported the variant of unknown significance rate. Published data on clinical utility is lacking, and it is unknown whether use of these panels improves health outcomes. Many panels include mutations that are considered to be of moderate or low penetrance, and management guidelines are not well-defined, leading to the potential for harm in identifying one of these non-highly penetrant mutations. The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently do not require approval for any expanded genetic panels tests. Because of the large number of mutations contained in expanded panels, it is not possible to determine clinical validity for the panels as a whole. The following list contains some (but not all) examples of expanded genetic panels commercially available at this time:

 

Although genetic cancer susceptibility panels using next-generation sequencing are considered investigational, there may be individual components of the panel that are medically necessary.

 

Note: This policy does not apply to the individual markers that have demonstrated efficacy in certain types of cancer.

 

Guidelines and Position Statements

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recognizes that concurrent multigene testing (ie, panel testing) may be efficient in circumstances that require evaluation of multiple high-penetrance genes of established clinical utility as possible explanations for a patient’s personal or family history of cancer. Depending on the specific genes included on the panel employed, panel testing may also identify mutations in genes associated with moderate or low cancer risks and mutations in high-penetrance genes that would not have been evaluated on the basis of the presenting personal or family history. Multigene panel testing will also identify variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in a substantial proportion of patient cases. ASCO affirms that it is sufficient for cancer risk assessment to evaluate genes of established clinical utility that are suggested by the patient’s personal and/or family history.

 

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that primary care providers screen women who have family members with breast, ovarian, tubal, or peritoneal cancer with 1 of several screening tools designed to identify a family history that may be associated with an increased risk for potentially harmful mutations in breast cancer and susceptibility genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2). Women with a positive screening results should receive genetic counseling and, if indicated after counseling, BRCA testing (grade B recommendation, 2013). The use of genetic cancer susceptibility panels is not specifically mentioned.

 

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines on genetic/familial high-risk assessment for breast and ovarian cancer (v.1.2019) state that, regarding multigene testing:

  • “Patients who have a personal or family history suggestive of a single inherited cancer syndrome are most appropriately managed by genetic testing for that specific syndrome. When more than one gene can explain an inherited cancer syndrome, then multi-gene testing may be more efficient and/or cost effective.”

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of Public Health Genomics helped to establish and support the ACCE Model Project, which has become the standard for evaluating scientific data on new genetic tests. The ACCE Model System* for Collecting, Analyzing and Disseminating Information on Genetic Tests provides an evaluation framework that is applicable to a variety of genetic tests. The Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP) used the ACCE framework and established this process as a way of evaluating an evidence-based method for assessing genetic tests and other types of genomic technology as it has transitioned from the research arena to the practice arena. The ACCE evaluation framework examines:

  • Analytical validity: Measures the specific genotypic test performance characteristics and whether the test accurately and reliably detects the gene marker(s) of interest. This refers to how well a test performs in the laboratory and how well the test measures the property or characteristic it is intended to measure. If the test does what its makers claim, it must produce the same results repeatedly and in different laboratories given the same set of procedures.
  • Clinical validity: Refers to the associations of the test result(s) with patient outcomes of interest, and may be expressed as clinical sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value for the outcome. Evidence is usually retrospective. This component refers to the accuracy with which a test predicts the presence or absence of a clinical condition or predisposition. Initially, the test has to be conducted on individuals who are known to have the condition (as well as those who do not) to determine its success rate.
  • Clinical utility: Clinical utility determines whether the use of genetic testing to modify medical management decisions improves patient outcomes. Best evidence is prospective, from randomized clinical trials of standard management procedures versus genetic test--directed management. Evidence may also be derived using banked samples from already completed clinical trials, or by constructing an indirect chain of evidence linking test results to clinical outcome. If a test has utility, it means that the result (positive or negative) provides information that can be used in the formulation of an effective treatment or preventive strategy.
  • Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications: Determines what, if any, ethical, legal, or social implications may arise from the use of this test and its results

 

Data is lacking for the clinical utility of multigene panels for inherited cancer susceptibility panels. There are management guidelines for syndromes with high penetrance, which have clinical utility in that they inform clinical decision making and result in the prevention of adverse health outcomes. Clinical management recommendations for the inherited conditions associated with low-to-moderate penetrance are not standardized, and the clinical utility of genetic testing for these mutations is uncertain. Variants of uncertain significance are generally not clinically actionable, and most are re-classified as benign.

 

Prior Approval:

Not applicable

 

Policy:

Genetic cancer susceptibility panels to assess cancer risk using next generation sequencing are considered investigational.

 

Although multigene genetic cancer susceptibility panels are considered investigational, there may be individual components of the panel that are medically necessary.

 

The following genes are recommended in the presence of genetic/familial high-risk assessment for breast cancer: (v2.2019)

  • ATM
  • BARD1
  • BRCA1/BRCA2
  • CHEK2
  • NBN
  • NF1
  • PALB2
  • PTEN
  • STK11
  • TP53

 

The following genes are recommended in the presence of genetic/familial high-risk assessment for ovarian cancer (v2.2019)

  • BRCA1/BRCA2
  • BRIP1
  • RAD51C
  • RAD51D
  • STK11

 

The following are recommended and considered well-established in the presence of genetic/familial high-risk assessment for colorectal cancer (v1.2018)

  • APC
  • BMPR1A
  • EPCAM
  • GREM1
  • MLH1
  • MSH2
  • MLH6
  • MUTYH
  • PMS2
  • PTEN
  • SMAD4
  • STK11
  • TP53

 

The following are recommended and considered well-established in the presence of Lynch Syndrome (Colorectal: Version 1.2018)

  • MLH1
  • MSH2
  • MSH6
  • PMS2

 

The evidence base is insufficient to demonstrate how comprehensive test results from all genes and/or gene mutations included in the panels listed below may be used to manage treatment decisions (i.e., clinical utility) and improve net health outcomes. Panel testing is similar to population testing with minimal value seen in genetic testing for information not effecting treatment. The following below, but not limited to these genetic panels are considered investigational to determine cancer risk.

 

Investigational Genetic Panels
Lab TestProvider
Brain Tumor Next Ambry GeneticsTM
BRCA Full Risk Panel GeneID
BRCAplus, BRCA plus expanded Ambry GeneticsTM
Breast Plus Panel Quest Diagnostics
Breast Cancer STAT Panel/Breast Cancer Panel Invitae
Breast and Gyn Cancers Panels Invitae
BreastNext™ Ambry GeneticsTM
BreastTrueTM High Risk Panel Pathway Genomics
Breast/Ovarian Cancer Panel GeneDx
BROCA Washington University
Cancer NextGen Sequencing (NGS) Panel Prevention Genetics
Cancer Somatic Mutation Panel Stanford Hospital and Clinics
CancerNextTM Ambry Genetics™
CancerNext Expanded Ambry GeneticsTM
ColoNextTM Ambry GeneticsTM
Colorectal Cancer Panel GeneDx
Colorectal Cancer Panel Invitae
Colorectal Cancer Guidelines Based Panel and add-on gened Invitae
Colorectal and Polyposis Panel Myriad®
ColoSeqTM University of Washington
Combined Mito Genome Plus Mito Nuclear Gene Panel GeneDx
Common Hereditary Cancer Panel Invitae
Comprehensive Cancer Panel GeneDx
Comprehensive Leukemia/Lymphoma Panel Clarient Diagnostic Services
Comprehensive Molecular Genetic Panel Molecular Testing Lab
Comprehensive Panel Lab Genomics
Comprehensive PinPointDNA Panel PinPoint Clinical, GeneAlign
CustomNext Cancer Ambry GeneticsTM
Custom Cancer Panel GeneDx
Counsyl Reliant Cancer Screen Counsyl
Endometrial Cancer Panel GeneDx
EpiXpanded Panel GeneDx
Family Prep Screen Counsyl
Gastric Cancer Panel Invitae
GEM Cancer Panel Ashion Analytics
GoodStart Select GoodStart Genetics
GYN plus Ambry GeneticsTM
Hematologic Malignancy Sequencing Panel Penn Medicine
HerediT® Sequenom  
Hereditary Breast Cancer Panel and/or Ovarian Cancer Invitae
Hereditary Cancer Syndromes Panel Invitae
Hereditary Colon Cancer Multi-Gene Panel Mayo Clinic
Hereditary Paraganglioma-Pheochromocytoma Panel  
High Risk Cancer Panel Emory Labs
High-Moderate Risk Panel GeneDx
HorizonTM Multi-Disease Carrier Screening Natera, Inc.
Invitae Multi-Cancer Panel Invitae
Invitae Melanoma Panel Invitae
Invitae Hereditary Cancer Syndromes Panel Invitae
Inherited Cancer Screen or Comprehensive Panel Counsyl
Lung Cancer Mutation Panel Quest Diagnostics
Lynch/Colorectal High Risk Panel GeneDx
Lynch Syndrome Panel Invitae
Melanoma Panel Invitae
Melanoma-Pancreatic Cancer Invitae
Melanoma Next Cancer Ambry GeneticsTM
Melanoma-Pancreatic Cancer Invitae
MSK-IMPACT (Memorial Sloan Kettering)  
Multi-Cancer Panel Invitae
Myeloid Molecular Profile Genoptix®
Myeloid Molecular Profile Genoptix®
myRiskTM Hereditary Cancer Panel Myriad
NexCourse® NSCLC Genoptix®
Next Generation Sequencing Panel for ASXL1, RECQL4, RNU4ATAC, SOX2 Sistemas Genomicos
NextStepDx PLUS® Lineagen
nucSEEKTM Courtagen Diagnostic Laboratory
OvaNext Ambry GeneticsTM
PancNextTM Ambry GeneticsTM
Pancreatic Cancer Panel GeneDx
Pancreatic Cancer Panel Invitae
Pancreatic Cancer Panel Myriad®
PANEXIA® Myriad®
PGL First/ PGL Next Ambry GeneticsTM
PreparentTM Carrier Screening Ashkenazi Jewish Panel Progenity®
PreparentTM Carrier Screening Global Panel Progenity®
PreparentTM Carrier Screening Global+ Panel Progenity®
PreparentTM Carrier Screening Standard Panel Progenity®
PreparentTM Carrier Screening Trio Panel Progenity®
Prostate Cancer Panel Invitae
ProstateNextTM Ambry GeneticsTM
RenalNextTM Ambry GeneticsTM
Renal/Urinary Trtact Cancer Panel Invitae
ResponseDx Lung® Response Genetics, Inc.
TumorNext Ambry GeneticsTM
Thyroid Cancer Panel Invitae
VistaSeq Hereditary Cancer Panel LabCorp

 

Testing for a large number of genes that have no certain link to risk status or disease development lacks clinical value. Often, abnormal findings in large gene panels are described as variants of uncertain significance. This means that although mutations/variants may be found in these genes, there are no actionable results. Change in clinical treatment or surveillance is not impacted by results.

 

Procedure Codes and Billing Guidelines:

To report provider services, use appropriate CPT* codes, Alpha Numeric (HCPCS level 2) codes, Revenue codes and / or diagnosis codes.

  • 81445 Targeted genomic sequence analysis panel, solid organ or hematolymphoid neoplasm, DNA analysis, and RNA analysis when performed, 51 or greater genes (eg, ALK, BRAF, CDKN2A, CEBPA, DNMT3A, EGFR, ERBB2, EZH2, FLT3, IDH1, IDH2, JAK2, KIT, KRAS, MLL, NPM1, NRAS, MET, NOTCH1, PDGFRA, PDGFRB, PGR, PIK3CA, PTEN, RET), interrogation for sequence variants and copy number variants or rearrangements, if performed
  • 81450 Targeted genomic sequence analysis panel, hematolymphoid neoplasm or disorder, DNA analysis, and RNA analysis when performed, 5-50 genes (eg, BRAF, CEBPA, DNMT3A, EZH2, FLT3, IDH1, IDH2, JAK2, KRAS, KIT, MLL, NRAS, NPM1, NOTCH1), interrogation for sequence variants, and copy number variants or rearrangements, or isoform expression or mRNA expression levels, if performed
  • 81455 Targeted genomic sequence analysis panel, solid organ or hematolymphoid neoplasm, DNA analysis, and RNA analysis when performed, 51 or greater genes (eg, ALK, BRAF, CDKN2A, CEBPA, DNMT3A, EGFR, ERBB2, EZH2, FLT3, IDH1, IDH2, JAK2, KIT, KRAS, MLL, NPM1, NRAS, MET, NOTCH1, PDGFRA, PDGFRB, PGR, PIK3CA, PTEN, RET), interrogation for sequence variants and copy number variants or rearrangements, if performed
  • 81479 Unlisted molecular pathology procedure
  • 81599 Unlisted multianalyte assay with algorithmic analysis

 

Selected References:

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  • Washington Uo. BROCA -- Cancer Risk Panel
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  • Chong HK, Wang T, Lu HM, et al. The validation and clinical implementation of BRCAplus: a comprehensive high-risk breast cancer diagnostic assay. PLoS One. 2014;9(5):e97408. PMID 24830819
  • Judkins T, Leclair B, Bowles K, et al. Development and analytical validation of a 25-gene next generation sequencing panel that includes the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes to assess hereditary cancer risk. BMC Cancer. 2015;15:215. PMID 25886519
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  • Walsh T, Lee MK, Casadei S, Thornton AM, Stray SM, Pennil C, Nord AS, Mandell JB, Swisher EM, King MC. Detection of inherited mutations for breast and ovarian cancer using genomic capture and massively parallel sequencing. PNAS (2010) 107:12629-33.
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  • Nord AS, Lee M, King MC, Walsh T. Accurate and exact CNV identification from targeted high-throughput sequence data. BMC Genomics. (2011) 12:184.
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  • Song et al. Contribution of germline mutations in the RAD51B, RAD51C, and RAD51D genes to ovarian cancer in the population. J Clin Oncol. 2015. 33 (26): 2901-7.
  • Ramus et al. Germline mutations in the BRIP1, BARD1, PALB2, and NBN genes in women with ovarian cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015. 107(11).
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  • Cheng DT, Prasad M, Chekaluk Y, et al. Comprehensive detection of germline variants by MSK-IMPACT, a clinical diagnostic platform for solid tumor molecular oncology and concurrent cancer predisposition testing. BMC Med Genomics. May 19 2017;10(1):33. PMID 28526081
  • Mu W, Lu HM, Chen J, et al. Sanger confirmation is required to achieve optimal sensitivity and specificity in next-generation sequencing panel testing. J Mol Diagn. Nov 2016;18(6):923-932. PMID 27720647
  • Vysotskaia VS, Hogan GJ, Gould GM, et al. Development and validation of a 36-gene sequencing assay for hereditary cancer risk assessment. PeerJ. Feb 2017;5:e3046. PMID 28243543
  • Balmana J, Digiovanni L, Gaddam P, et al. Conflicting interpretation of genetic variants and cancer risk by commercial laboratories as assessed by the prospective registry of multiplex testing. J Clin Oncol. Dec 2016;34(34):4071-4078. PMID 27621404
  • Buys SS, Sandbach JF, Gammon A, et al. A study of over 35,000 women with breast cancer tested with a 25-gene panel of hereditary cancer genes. Cancer. May 15 2017;123(10):1721-1730. PMID 28085182
  • O'Leary E, Iacoboni D, Holle J, et al. Expanded gene panel use for women with breast cancer: identification and intervention beyond breast cancer risk. Ann Surg Oncol. Aug 01 2017. PMID 28766213
  • American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Expanded Version. n.d.
  • American Society of Breast Surgeons. (2017). Consensus guideline on hereditary genetic testing for patients with and without breast cancer. Columbia, MD: American Society of Breast Surgeons.
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines on genetic/familial high-risk assessment: Colorectal Cancer v.1.2018).
  • Phillips, K. A., Deverka, P. A., Trosman, J. R., Douglas, M. P., Chambers, J. D., Weldon, C. B., & Dervan, A. P. (2017). Payer coverage policies for multigene tests. Nature biotechnology, 35(7), 614-617
  • Evolving Payer Coverage Policies on Genomic Sequencing Tests: Beginning of the End or End of the Beginning?. JAMA. 2018;319(23):2379-2380.

 

Policy History:

 

  • November 2018 - Annual Review, Policy Revised
  • December 2017 - Annual Review, Policy Revised
  • November 2016 - New Policy

Wellmark medical policies address the complex issue of technology assessment of new and emerging treatments, devices, drugs, etc.   They are developed to assist in administering plan benefits and constitute neither offers of coverage nor medical advice. Wellmark medical policies contain only a partial, general description of plan or program benefits and do not constitute a contract. Wellmark does not provide health care services and, therefore, cannot guarantee any results or outcomes. Participating providers are independent contractors in private practice and are neither employees nor agents of Wellmark or its affiliates. Treating providers are solely responsible for medical advice and treatment of members. Our medical policies may be updated and therefore are subject to change without notice.

 

*CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.