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We respond to NICE recommendation of tumour profiling tests to guide adjuvant chemotherapy decisions for certain patients

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“Today’s important recommendation will guarantee more eligible primary breast cancer patients have access to vital tumour profiling tests on the NHS, to help guide decisions around treatment with chemotherapy.[1]

“While chemotherapy is an important part of breast cancer treatment - that for many patients, helps reduce the risk of cancer returning - these tests will provide a more tailored approach to people’s treatment, helping patients and clinicians to make informed decisions around the need for chemotherapy.

“Crucially, the tests will see some patients safely spared chemotherapy and its often gruelling short and long-term side effects. They could also help identify people who would be considered to have a low risk of their disease returning based on clinical factors, but who may benefit from chemotherapy.

“It's now important that these tests, which are a crucial tool in enabling shared decision-making between clinicians and patients, are swiftly included on the National Genomics Testing Directory to ensure that all eligible patients have equal access to testing without delay.

“Anyone looking for information and support can contact our expert nurses via our free, confidential helpline, on 0808 800 6000.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

[1] A number of tumour profiling tests (EndPredict, Oncotype DX or Prosigna) have been recommended as options to guide adjuvant chemotherapy decisions for certain patients with hormone receptor positive HER2-negative primary breast cancer with 1 to 3 positive lymph nodes for:

  • women who have been through the menopause
  • men
  • trans, non-binary or intersex people, depending on their hormonal profile.

Currently, NICE recommends EndoPredict (EPclin score), Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score and Prosigna as options for guiding adjuvant chemotherapy decisions for people with oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive, HER2-negative and lymph node negative (including micrometastatic disease), only if:

  • they have an intermediate risk of distant recurrence using a validated tool such as PREDICT
  • information provided by the test would help them choose, with their clinician, whether or not to have adjuvant chemotherapy taking into account their preference
  • the companies provide the tests to the NHS with the discounts agreed in the access proposals

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