According to an early online publication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has included Oncotype DX into its clinical guidelines for early breast cancer.
Although chemotherapy is recommended for many women with early-stage, node-negative breast cancer, the benefit of chemotherapy varies. Identifying in advance those women who are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy may allow for more individualized treatment. This would allow women who are unlikely to benefit from chemotherapy to avoid the toxic effects of treatment. Oncotype DX is covered by several large health coverage policies.
Oncotype DX is a genomic test that predicts the likelihood of a cancer recurrence, the likelihood of benefit from chemotherapy, and the likelihood of survival in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer that has not spread to their lymph nodes (node-negative) and is estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Oncotype DX evaluates the activity of 21 genes from a sample of the patient’s cancer to determine the patient’s Recurrence Score. The Recurrence Score ranges from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating a greater risk of recurrence.
ASCO is comprised of healthcare providers who are leaders in their respective fields. ASCO members revise recommended treatment guidelines according to study and evaluation of new results. Oncologists often use these guidelines to guide their treatment decisions.
Oncotype DX represents a step in furthering individualized care for patients with cancer. The ultimate goal of individualized care is that all patients can achieve optimal benefit from treatment and delivery of unnecessary therapy is minimized.
Patients with node-negative, ER-positive breast cancer may wish to discuss their individual risks and benefits of utilizing Oncotype DX with their physician.
Reference: Harris L, Fritsche H, Mennel R, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology 2007 Update of Recommendations for the Use of Tumor Markers in Breast Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology [early online publication]. October 22, 2007. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2007.14.2364.
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