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Gene test predicts breast cancer outcomes

Wednesday May 1st, 2019

A new test can help predict a breast cancer patient's response to chemotherapy, British doctors have reported.

The ‘multigene’ test, named EndoPredict or EPclin, was created for patients with oestrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

Its effectiveness was examined in a trial of 3,746 women who were given either endocrine therapy alone or with chemotherapy.

In Breast Cancer Research and Treatment yesterday (30 April), the scientists report: “EPclin was highly prognostic for recovery in women who received endocrine therapy alone as well as in those who received endocrine therapy plus chemotherapy.

The team, led by Dr Ivana Sestak at Queen Mary University of London, UK, conclude: “A high EPclin score can predict chemotherapy benefit in women with ER-positive, HER2-negative disease.”

Dr Sestak commented: "Our new results give clinicians good quality data to inform specific treatment recommendations for women. Our data shows that using the EndoPredict test to assess the risk of metastasis can spare women unnecessary chemotherapy if the test results show that a woman is at low risk of recurrence by the test."

The London team worked alongside experts at the Spanish Foundation Research Group in Breast Cancer in Madrid, Spain. Professor Miguel Martin said: "This analysis can help clinicians select the best adjuvant therapy for their breast cancer patients. In the era of personalised medicine, avoiding chemotherapy when it is of little or no value is a need for the patients".

The study was funded by Cancer Research UK. Professor Daniel Rea of the charity said: "This research highlights the progress being made in genetic testing and could be a valuable addition to the current tests available to doctors. Trials in the UK are ongoing to provide more evidence to help us make the best use of these tests."

Sestak, I. et al. Prediction of chemotherapy benefit by EndoPredict in patients with breast cancer who received adjuvant endocrine therapy plus chemotherapy or endocrine therapy alone. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 30 April 2019 doi: 10.1007/s10549-019-05226-8

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-019-05226-8

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Genetics | Pharmaceuticals | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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