New Test Reveals Who Could Avoid Chemo -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Participating in the study were 89 patients with early-stage, node-negative, oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer and 17 medical oncologists at four different centres nationally. The research was conducted at Loyola University Health System. Each patient had the multi-gene expression test taken from a tissue sample of the tumour, which produces a very specific, molecular fingerprint of the cancer.

The test tells the chance of distant recurrence of the cancer over ten years if only tamoxifen is given and provides the likelihood of benefit from chemotherapy. Treatment decisions are based on whether the score is low, medium or high. Participating physicians and patients were surveyed regarding their treatment decision before the test was sent and again after discussion of the test results.

“This test score changed the treatment decisions of 31.5 percent of medical oncologists and 27 percent of patients,” said senior study investigator Dr. Kathy S. Albain, director of the breast clinical research program. “It is a new dimension of tailoring treatment to the individual. The study proves for the first time that the score impacts our decision-making as oncologists: Test results reduced the number of women who had to undergo chemotherapy”.

In 22.5 percent of the cases, the doctors said the patient could avoid chemotherapy. In 76 percent of the cases, oncologists indicated they had increased confidence in their treatment decisions after reviewing the test results with their patients. The majority of patients, 83 percent, reported that this test influenced their treatment decisions. “The test score provides patients with more certainty that they are taking the right steps for their specific cancer,” Albain stated.; Source: Loyola University Health System