A breast cancer test has been found that helps doctors make treatment decisions; for some breast cancer patients, following research carried out; at Queen Mary University of London and funded by Cancer Research UK. The test was successful in predicting; whether chemotherapy would be beneficial for patients; with the most common type of breast cancer (oestrogen-receptor positive, HER2-negative); thereby helping to direct patients with a high-risk of metastasis to chemotherapy, while allowing lower-risk patients to opt out of the treatment and its potential side effects.
EndoPredict has predictive abilities with regards to chemotherapy
Approximately 85% of breast cancer patients are now; diagnosed as oestrogen receptor positive, which means that the cancer grows in response to the hormone oestrogen. Doctors treating the majority of these women increasingly use multigene tests to determine each patient’s prognosis and risk of metastasis, and advise on the best suitable treatment. The new study, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment and carried out in the UK, Austria and Spain, has found that a multigene test called EndoPredict is able to predict whether chemotherapy will work for an individual patient.
The study results showed that patients with a high EndoPredict test result; indicating a high risk of metastasis — who received chemotherapy; in addition to hormonal therapy had statistically better 10-year outcomes; than those who only received hormonal therapy. The study was therefore able to show that; EndoPredict is not only a prognostic test; but for the first time was able to demonstrate that EndoPredict; also has predictive abilities with regards to chemotherapy. Traditionally clinical features such as tumour size; grade and nodal involvement are; used to determine prognosis and treatment.
EndoPredict test: prognostic and indirectly predictive value
In cases where it is unclear from these clinical features whether a woman is at high enough risk to receive chemotherapy, the EndoPredict test can give additional prognostic and indirectly predictive value in terms of chemotherapy benefit. Multiple guidelines, as well as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) regulations; recommend multigene tests to be; used by oncologists around the world to aid in their decision-making process; about treatment for women with the most common type of breast cancer — oestrogen-receptor positive, HER2-negative.
So, with the added predictive benefit of EndoPredict demonstrated by this study, use of this test might become more commonly used to determine whether chemotherapy will effectively treat a patient, bringing enormous benefit to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Lead author Dr Ivana Sestak of Queen Mary University of London 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.”