Evidently, to date, over 170,000 breast cancer patients have changed their treatment decision based on the Oncotype DX test, with a majority adopting hormonal therapy alone.
Dubbed “Oncotype DX”, the test showed a high level of accuracy when it identified several women with low risk breast cancer that could be treated so well using only hormone-blocking drugs that making these patients undergo chemo would have done little or no good.
The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, states that unborn children who are exposed to cancer treatments during the prenatal period receive no negative effects from it-they also show normal mental health development and heart function, same as kids from the general population, whose mothers did not have cancer or cancer treatments.
“These patients who had low risk scores by Oncotype did extraordinarily well at five years”, said Dr. Hope Rugo, a breast cancer specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, with no role in the study.
There are different schools of thought on when women should begin annual mammogram screening, Planeta said, noting that the American Cancer Society recommends clinical breast exams start for women in their mid-20s and mammograms at age 40. Researchers conducted the research on those patients who were hormone-positive and whose breast cancer was not spread to lymph nodes. Hint – it’s the women who are in the early stage of breast cancer.
In addition, the researchers believe the Oncotype DX test is an effective tool to determine which patients with early-stage breast cancer are unlikely to benefit from such treatment.
Of the 10,253 women in the study, 16 percent were classified as low risk, 67 percent as intermediate and 17 percent as high risk for recurrence by the test. The high-risk group was given chemotherapy and hormone-blocking drugs. Women with tumors scoring 10 or lower (15.9 percent of participants) on the test were given hormone therapy (tamoxifen) but not chemotherapy.
“Our results show that fear of cancer treatment is no reason to terminate a pregnancy, that maternal treatment should not be delayed and that chemotherapy can be given”, says Frédéric Amant, a gynecological oncologist at hospitals in both Belgium and the Netherlands.
Genomic Health today announced the presentation of the first results from the Trial Assigning IndividuaLized Options for Treatment (Rx), or TAILORx, a large, multicentre, prospectively conducted trial, including Canadian patients, sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).
‘Even though they did not get chemotherapy this large group of women did very well. “My doctor felt strongly that my risk for recurrence without chemo was low, and so why burden myself and my body”, she said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for women that are suffering this unfortunate disease that’s taken many lives”, Judy Orloff of Holyoke said.
The test costs around $4,000 and doctors say most insurers are happy to cover the cost.