Myriad Genetics review — Is cancer risk in your genes?

myriad-genetics-review

Myriad Genetics Review Summary

Myriad Genetics offers various diagnostic DNA testing products such as tests for cancer risk. Learn more in our Myriad Genetics review!

Nebula Genomics

Results
Price
Customer Experience

Summary

Myriad Genetics is a clinical genetic testing company that provides detailed diagnostic tests at a higher price than competitors.

3.3

Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.

October 6, 2021

7 Facts from our Myriad Genetics Review

  1. Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  2. Products: targeted gene panels, full exome, and whole-genome sequencing
  3. Reports: diagnostic tests, reproductive tests, precision medicine tests
  4. Result delivery: two to three weeks
  5. Cost: $0-$4000+
  6. Privacy: data not deleted by default, users need to email customer service
  7. Complimentary Products: Nebula Genomics (whole genome sequencing that can be used in consultation with a genetic counselor or medical provider)

Summary

Myriad Genetics is a diagnostics corporation that includes several clinical genetics companies. The molecular diagnostic company is based in Salt Lake City, UT. The services offered range from prenatal testing to psychotropic gene-drug screening. Because Myriad is a clinical genomics company, they offer FDA-approved molecular diagnostic testing. For Myriad Genetics, insurance can provide some coverage. Without coverage, costs can be significantly higher than CLIA-lab alternatives.

Are you interested in a test that decodes 100% of your DNA instead of testing only a few genes? Nebula Genomics offers the most affordable Whole Genome Sequencing! This is the most complete DNA test that decodes all 20,000 genes and all regulatory genomic regions. In comparison, Myriad Genetics sequences just a few genes at a much higher price. Click here to learn more!

Myriad Introduction

Myriad Genetics is a molecular diagnostics company that offers clinical genetic testing to promote medical management. This genetic testing company was founded in 1991 by scientists from the University of Utah, and Utah is still the home of their headquarters. Mark Capone is the current head of upper management. 

Recently, Myriad Genetics acquired Counsyl and Assurex Health. These business acquisitions expanded the the Myriad genetic testing capabilities to include reproductive tests and more precision medicine tests, respectively. In addition, Myriad also offers genetic testing for psychotropic drug interactions.

Review of Myriad Genetics Products

This company offers several types of DNA tests. Some are diagnostic tests while others focus on reproductive screening and precision medicine.

Review of Myriad Genetics diagnostic tests

Myriad Genetics offers diagnostic genetic testing for cancers that are inherited. They may be useful for people with a family history of cancer. Genetic tests can be done with either a saliva sample or a blood draw. 

According to the company, insurance can cover up to 90% of the Myriad Genetic testing cost. In most cases, Myriad offers financial assistance to reduce out-of-pocket costs for qualified underinsured patients in the U.S. to no more than $295.

The tests offered included:

  • BRACAnalysis: This genetic test identifies mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. These human genes increase the risk of developing hereditary cancers, including genes associated with breast and ovarian cancers in women. 
  • Colaris: This genetic test identifies mutations in a panel of six genes. Mutations in five of the six genes can be used to diagnose a person with Lynch syndrome. This disease increases a person’s risk of developing several types of cancers, including colorectal and uterine cancer.
  • Myriad myRisk Hereditary Cancer Test: This genetic test identifies mutations in 35 genes correlated with an increased risk for developing hereditary cancers. The eight types of hereditary cancers tested for are breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, skin, and uterine cancers. 

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The company provides directions for how to collect a saliva sample. Then, customers send their sample to Myriad genetic laboratories. Once Myriad receives the sample, they analyze the results and provide a report.

Reports describe mutations found as positive, elevated, negative, or a variant of unknown significance. 

Women may also choose to receive another report called a riskScore. The riskScore combines a testing panel validated by medical societies with a hereditary cancer quiz. This provides a prediction of five-year and lifetime risk for breast cancer. 

This genetic test may be covered by health insurance. According to the company, three out of four people pay $0 for testing.

Chart showing a subset of the list genes analyzed in the Myriad Genetics myRisk test. This chart shows which types of cancers these genes are associated with.
Chart showing a subset of the list genes analyzed in the Myriad Genetics myRisk test. This chart shows which types of cancers these genes are associated with.

Review of Myriad Genetics reproductive tests

The company also offers genetic testing before and during pregnancy. These Myriad genetic testing pregnancy options include:

  • Foresight Carrier Risk Screen: This genetic test identifies a couple’s risk of passing on an inherited condition to their child. Couples can use this test before or during pregnancy. The test covers more than 175 inherited conditions that are clinically significant. 
  • Prequel Prenatal Screen: This prenatal screening can be done as early as ten weeks into pregnancy. This test uses cell-free DNA obtained from a sample of the mother’s blood which can be used to check if the fetus has an abnormal number of chromosomes. 

Some chromosome conditions include Trisomy 21 and Trisomy 18, which cause Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome, respectively. This test can also look for abnormal numbers of sex chromosomes or deletions in chromosomes. 

The company offers a financial assistance program and interest-free payment plan options.

Review of Myriad Genetics precision medicine tests

Myriad offers a couple of products designed to help individuals and their doctors use genetic information to inform treatment options. These tests include:

GeneSight Psychotropic Test ($330): This genetic test looks for mutations in genes that may affect how an individual responds to medications for treating mental illnesses. This test is based on research established by Assurex Health, which Myriad acquired in 2016 and renamed Myriad Neuroscience. The test is now offered through this division. 

Medicare and Medicaid cover the cost for this test, and most private insurers cover part of the costs. According to the company, most patients will pay less than $330.

myChoice CDX ($4040): This genetic test looks for mutations, insertions, deletions, and large chromosomal rearrangements in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The test uses samples from the person’s tumor. 

This test reports a genomic instability score, which can indicate how an individual might respond to cancer treatments. People with a poor score may benefit from other targeted therapies. This product is approved by the FDA. Without insurance coverage, the test costs over $4000.

Review of Myriad Genetics Reports

The company’s diagnostic tests provide results that include a genetic testing status and medical recommendations. 

Review of Myriad Genetics diagnostic testing reports

The first section of the report provides a summary of the mutations identified from the genetic test. The report then describes the significance of any mutations found. This includes information about whether the gene mutation increases a person’s risk for developing disease.

The bottom of the report includes additional information listing all the genes analyzed.

The first page of a Myriad Genetics BRCAnalysis test showing a positive result.
The first page of a Myriad Genetics BRCAnalysis test showing a positive result.

If an individual receives a positive test result, their healthcare provider will receive additional information regarding clinical management guidelines and recommendations for patient care. 

Clinical guidelines for physicians to help their patients manage increased risks for cancer.
Clinical guidelines for physicians to help their patients manage increased risks for cancer. 

Myriad Genetics lets people know if their test has identified any mutations, even if they are not associated with increased cancer risk. These mutations are known as variants of uncertain clinical significance. These are still viewed as negative results.

The first page of a Myriad Genetics Colaris genetic test showing negative results.
The first page of a Myriad Genetics Colaris genetic test showing negative results.

If the genetic test did not identify any mutations, the report will indicate a negative test result.

A sample report showing that no mutations were identified. These would be negative test results.
The first page of a Colaris test showing negative results.

Review of Myriad Genetics reproductive testing reports

The Foresight Carrier Screening test can help couples determine if their child would be at risk for an inherited condition. If both partners choose to be tested, the company provides a combined report. 

A positive test result indicates that a couple would have a high risk of passing on an inherited disorder to their child. The rest of the report provides information about the disorder. This includes information about treatment.

The first page of the Myriad Genetics Foresight Carrier Screen couples report.
The first page of the Myriad Genetics Foresight Carrier Screen couples report.

If no mutations are found, the report will indicate the results were negative.

Review of Myriad Genetics precision medicine reports

The GeneSight test reports whether a person’s genetics could affect their response to certain medications. The test results include information about medication for anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric illnesses. The report classifies medications into three categories indicating how they should be used. 

Report from GeneSight genetic test rates drugs on a color-coded scale. This scale tells you and your doctor whether you have any possible gene-drug interactions.
The first page of a report for the GeneSight genetic test.

Genetic Counseling

Genetic counselors can help people interpret their results from genetic testing. Myriad Genetics offers genetic consults from their team of licensed, board-certified genetic counselors. This benefit is included with the Foresight prenatal screening.

Review of Myriad Genetics Cost

These tests can cost up to $4000. However, they do claim that 97% of private health insurance companies cover their testing. The company also offers a financial assistance program. This program may cap expenses at $295 for individuals who qualify.

Review of Myriad Genetics Privacy

Myriad Genetics says that they take the privacy of their patients’ genetic information seriously. The company shares a person’s genetic information with their medical provider and anyone else they allow access. 

The company also says that they do not sell or give away genetic information to third parties. They also responsibly contribute genetic data to the PROMPT registry. This is an online genetic registry that researchers use to study the genetics of cancer risk.

They will provide your information to authorities in the case of national security or law enforcement requirements when the request has been made correctly.

Myriad Genetics in the News

The company has attracted some criticism regarding the costs of its genetic testing:

The company was also criticized for filing patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, resulting in a Myriad Genetics lawsuit.

However, a court decision from the United States Supreme Court in 2013 ruled against the legality of patents on human genes. Their main conclusion was that since the discovery of a human gene does not involve being created, there was no intellectual property involved and thus no grounds for a patent. Subsequently Myriad announced to give up its attempts to patent breast cancer genes.

Other Myriad Genetics Reviews

Because this is a diagnostic company ordered through a doctor’s office and not available online, there are limited public reviews. Yelp reviewers give the company only 1 out of 5 stars. The most common complaints claim slow processing times and trouble billing insurance.

Myriad is considered a good company to work with, with most reviewers on Glassdoor ranking it as having good company culture and great benefits. Working at Myriad tends to be a pretty good experience. Many reviewers are from lab technicians who worked at Myriad Genetics.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • More than 25 years of experience in the field of genetic testing for hereditary cancers
  • Insurance may cover some of the testing costs
  • Genetic counseling available

Cons

  • More expensive than other genetic tests on the market
  • Less transparency about up-front costs associated with testing
  • Can’t upload genomic data from other providers

Nebula Genomics

We conclude our Myriad Genetics review with a comparison with Nebula Genomics and other DNA testing companies.

Nebula Genomics offers the most affordable 30x Whole-Genome Sequencing service that provides information about your entire genome. Most of the products offered by Myriad Genetics and other clinical genetic testing companies cost much more. These other genetic testing companies also provide less detail about your genetic information. Although not a clinical test, the sequencing data Nebula Genomics provides can be used by healthcare providers and genetic counselors.

23andMeAncestryMyriad GeneticsNebula Genomics
DNA testing methodMicroarray-based genotypingMicroarray-based genotypingTargeted gene panels (myRisk), Whole genome sequencing (Prequel)30x Whole Genome Sequencing
Weekly updates based on the latest discoveriesNoNoNoYes (learn more)
Tools to explore dataYesYesmyRisk management tool (for medical providers)Yes
Ancestry reportingYesYesNoDeep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing in collaboration with FTDNA
Data accessYesYesNoYes, including FASTQ, BAM and VCF files
Cost$99 or $199$99 or $119$0-4000+ (depending on insurance)$0, $99, $299 
Clinical DiagnosticsNoNoYesNo, but the data is of the highest quality and can be used by physicians and genetic counselors
Myriad Genetics vs 23andMe vs AncestryDNA vs Nebula Genomics

Other clinical genomic companies you might be interested in include the Myriad Genetics competitors:

Plus, check out more of the blog to learn more about the importance of sequencing Y-DNA and mtDNA and things like paternity testing.

Other companies that offer whole exome sequencing are:

Learn more about whole exome sequencing!

Did you like our Myriad Genetics Review? More reviews can be found on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.