BREAST CANCER GENETIC ANALYSIS
ANCHOR LEAD: GENETIC ANALYSIS OF SOME BREAST CANCER PROVES USEFUL, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A commercially available 21 gene recurrence assay for breast cancer has proven its utility in a recent study in the Lancet. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, offers his interpretation.
PARK: This test can reliably predict who has a higher likelihood of recurrence at it’s five years right now, whether it’s low, intermediate or high risk and whether or not they’ll benefit from chemotherapy, and it seems like the low risk group may not get any benefit from chemotherapy and may be better off just treated with hormone therapy. So I think that that’s a pretty significant finding in our field. Many people in breast cancer oncology are using this test right now, for both node negative and now in the postmenopausal situation, node positive patients. :28
Park says almost all insurance companies are now persuaded of this specific test ’s utility and will pay for it. He says women found to be at low risk most often welcome the chance to avoid chemotherapy. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.