BREAST CANCER TEST
ANCHOR LEAD: THE FDA HAS APPROVED IT’S FIRST GENETIC TEST FOR BREAST CANCER PROGNOSIS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A test that uses about 70 genes to predict whether a woman’s breast cancer is likely to recur has been approved by the FDA. But does the test really offer much in the way of new information in the management of breast cancer? Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, responds.
PARK: I’m somewhat underwhelmed about this, quite honestly. And I think the reason this got big news is because it’s the first genetic test for breast cancer that was FDA approved. As it is right now these types of tests don’t have to be so this is voluntarily submitted by the company, and I think that was probably a good marketing ploy on their part because it got a lot of press but the truth of the matter is this test is somewhat limited in what it can tell us and it’s not something that I feel is going to be hugely useful for the average oncologist treating breast cancer. :27
Park does believe that this test heralds a new era of genetic testing oversight by the FDA and that the agency acted fairly in its assessment and decision making process, which should ultimately benefit patients. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.