Gene test may identify if breast cancer patients need chemotherapy or not

CF Chemo
patient in bed while nurse works with iv drip

Doctors have long known that many early-stage breast cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy don’t actually need it to prevent recurrence of the disease after surgery. But they haven’t known exactly which patients might safely skip the toxic treatment.

[However, a] European study [showed that]…[n]early half of the patients considered at high risk for recurrence might actually be low risk based on genetic factors….

The study involved almost 6,700 patients with localized breast cancer…Typically, all would have considered chemotherapy as part of their treatment.

But a 70-gene test called MammaPrint found that about 1,500 of that group were low risk based on genomic factors.


Given those findings, the researchers say, about 46 percent of women with breast cancer who are classified as high risk based on clinical factors might not need chemo.

But Paul Kelly Marcom, a breast cancer oncologist[,]…said that whether that survival-rate difference is significant is a personal decision by a woman and her doctor…and that physicians are in the early stages of learning how to use [genomic tests].


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Gene test can reduce chemo use among breast-cancer patients, study says

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