In new research presented today at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam, experts have suggested that it is possible to use a multi-gene test to identify patients with early breast cancer who can be spared chemotherapy and who will still be alive and well five years after diagnosis.
The results - from the West German Study Group Phase III PlanB trial - showed that 94% of women who had been assessed as at low risk of a recurrence of their disease by the 21-gene Recurrence Score (Oncotype DX) test were disease-free after five years.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“These figures offer further evidence of the immense potential of Oncotype DX to identify certain patients who could be safely spared the harsh impacts of chemotherapy.
“Personalised medicine, including the use of tools like Oncotype DX, is the direction we need to be moving in if we are to give women with breast cancer the best chance of survival, while crucially reducing overtreatment.
“We hope this evidence can now begin to inform policy in this area, and, following NHS England’s decision not to routinely commission the test in June 2014, we look forward to them making their position on Oncotype DX clear in the near future.
“In the meantime, we would encourage any patients who think they could potentially benefit from this test to speak to their clinician about whether they would be suitable to access it.”