Breast Cancer

About the Test

Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score

If you have recently been diagnosed with early-stage oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) invasive breast cancer, you will discuss your treatment options with your doctor*. As part of your treatment plan you might be given an option to have adjuvant chemotherapy (chemo) in addition to hormone therapy (tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitor). Choosing the optimal treatment for your breast cancer is important and you need to weigh the risks and benefits of chemotherapy with your doctor in order to make a decision that is right for you.

Overview: Chemo or No Chemo for Early Invasive Breast Cancer?

When considering the best adjuvant treatment option for early breast cancer, the doctor usually considers your age, general health and personal circumstances, as well as the size and grade of your tumour and whether any lymph nodes are involved. By examining the biology of the actual cells of your tumour, the Oncotype DX® test can add a valuable piece of information to these factors. The Oncotype DX test can thus help you and your doctor to make a more informed and personalised decision about whether to treat with chemotherapy or not, based on further information that is specific to the biology of your cancer.

The Oncotype DX test is a molecular diagnostic test that analyses the individual biology of a breast cancer tumour by examining the activity of 21 genes in the tumour tissue. The results of the analysis are fed into a formula that gives a Recurrence Score® result. The Recurrence Score result, a number between 0 and 100, can provide information about how likely your breast cancer is to recur within 10 years of diagnosis and, perhaps more importantly, the likelihood that you will benefit from chemotherapy.

As the Oncotype DX test is performed on a small amount of the tissue removed during your original surgery (core biopsy, lumpectomy, or mastectomy) this means you do not need to undergo any additional surgery or procedure in order to have the test.

Since becoming available in 2004, more than 750,000 Oncotype breast cancer tests have been requested in over 90 countries. The Oncotype test has been studied and validated in independent studies involving more than 4,000 invasive breast cancer patients.

The Oncotype DX test has been available in the UK and Ireland since the end of 2007, with usage in both the NHS and private sectors growing. You can pay for the test yourself or it may be covered by your provider if you have private healthcare insurance. All of the major private insurance companies in the UK and Ireland now cover the test but you should always call your insurance company first just to check.

Note: Genomic Health is not able to advise you directly on your treatment plan.

*Breast surgeon or oncologist

When Should Your Doctor Order the Oncotype DX Breast Cancer Test?

During surgery the breast surgeon will remove the breast cancer and surrounding tissue and this is examined and preserved by the pathologist. The pathologist will send sections of the cancer tissue to the Genomic Health laboratory (the company that created the Oncotype DX test). The Oncotype DX breast cancer test results are then reported to the requesting doctor* to help you and your doctor formulate a treatment plan based on the unique characteristics of your cancer.

There are no additional invasive procedures needed to obtain test results.

Your doctor is a valuable resource for helping you decide if the Oncotype DX test is right for you. Please note that Genomic Health is not able to advise you directly on your treatment plan.

*Breast surgeon or oncologist

 

When Should the Oncotype DX Breast Cancer Test Be Used?

How Was the Oncotype DX Breast Cancer Test Developed

The Oncotype DX breast cancer test was developed by a company called Genomic Health. Scientists at Genomic Health researched and developed a panel of 21 appropriate genes to test. 16 of these genes are associated with breast cancer; the other 5 were added to normalise expression for each patient. After analysing many hundreds of samples, the team developed a mathematical formula incorporating the expression level of each of these important genes. This formula results in one number, the Recurrence Score® result, which predicts risk of recurrence for the patient. To verify its accuracy, this Recurrence Score has been validated in several clinical studies. To date, tumours from over four thousand patients in thirteen studies have been analysed. The gene expression analysis technology and the formula are two key components of the Oncotype DX breast cancer test.

Note: Genomic Health is not able to advise you directly on your treatment plan.

My Recurrence Score results

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