ANCHOR LEAD: GENETIC TESTS ARE EMERGING AS IMPORTANT TOOLS FOR PATIENT MANAGEMENT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Genetic testing continues to develop into a very important piece of the puzzle in designing an individualized treatment plan for women with breast cancer, with a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association describing a new type of test using tissue samples. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, says the case for genetic testing gets stronger all the time.
PARK: Looking at this study, I think its again another complimentary piece of work that really suggests that we can use genetics and genomics to really help us stratify patients and to really try to individualize patient care in terms of therapy and in particular adjuvant therapy, I mean think in the realm of breast cancer that’s really what we’re talking about. There’s really still a big conundrum on who should get treated, who shouldn’t, who’s going to respond and who won’t. :25
Park says that as the studies accumulate, insurance companies should begin to reimburse for genetic testing more widely. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.