NewsApril 24 2017

Researchers Develop Tool to Predict Breast Cancer Recurrence Test Results

Three women wearing pink breast cancer ribbons

Oncotype DX is a commercially available 21-gene breast cancer test that predicts the 10-year likelihood of breast cancer recurrence for patients treated with tamoxifen.

It also helps determine the benefit of using chemotherapy along with anti-

estrogen therapy for the same patients. Oncotype DX test is an expensive test and is used in approximately 30% of eligible breast cancer patients in the United States and in less than 20% of breast cancer patients in Europe.

Teaming Up to Fight Against Breast Cancer

Amila Orucevic, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology, collaborated with John Bell, MD, Director of the Cancer Institute and Professor of Surgery, Alison McNabb,

MS, Director of the Office of Information Technology in the Graduate School of Medicine, and Eric Heidel, PhD, biostatistician and Assistant Professor of Surgery on developing nomogram to help predict the Oncotype DX breast cancer recurrence test results without actually performing the test.

The publication entitled “Oncotype DX breast cancer recurrence score can be predicted with a novel nomogram using clinicopathologic data” published recently in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment outlines the utilization of this nomogram. The nomogram uses clinicopathologic variables readily available from any breast cancer patient pathology report to predict the Oncotype DX recurrence score.

Affordable, Personalized Medicine

“The use of breast cancer genomic prognostic assays, such as Oncotype DX, MammaPrint, EndoPredict and others, is an ideal way of practicing personalized medicine for each breast cancer patient. These assays provide prognosis for breast cancer patients while identifying ones for which chemotherapy treatment may not be necessary based on the analysis of the genetic makeup of the breast cancer cells of each individual breast cancer patient. Unfortunately, these tests are expensive and are not affordable or available for many breast cancer patients,” said Dr. Orucevic.

“Therefore, our nomograms may be useful tools to help doctors worldwide select patients for which further Oncotype DX testing may or may not be necessary. They can also be used for patients who can’t afford or access this testing,” said Dr. Orucevic.

To view the article, click here: To view the breast cancer nomogram, click here:

Learn more about services at the Cancer Institute.