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Gene expression test distinguishes between breast cancer patients at high and low risk of late recurrence
Date:5/2/2013

Lugano-CH, Brussels-BE, 2 May 2013 -- A test that measures the expression levels of 58 genes in oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancers can effectively differentiate between patients who are at higher and lower risk for having their cancer recur elsewhere in the body more than five years after diagnosis, researchers report.

The new findings show that better individual risk prediction for women with these cancers is getting nearer, says study author Prof Michael Gnant from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria.

Prof Gnant reported the findings at the 5th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference in Brussels, Belgium. The IMPAKT meeting presents cutting edge, 'translational' breast cancer research that is beginning to have an impact for patients.

Metastasis after 5 years of follow-up is an important research issue, particularly in hormone-receptor positive breast cancer, Prof Gnant explains.

"Despite all great progress we have made in the treatment of this most frequent subtype of breast cancer, some patients develop metastasis many years after their initial diagnosis. Extending adjuvant endocrine therapy to prevent this is an option, but comes with substantial side-effects and cost for society, and should therefore be reserved for those patients who really need it. Thus, better defining individual risk for late metastasis is an important medical and scientific need," Prof Gnant says.

The PAM50 Risk of Recurrence (ROR) score used by the researchers in this study directly measures the expression levels of 58 different genes (50 discriminator genes and 8 controls).

Prof Gnant and colleagues performed the PAM50 analysis on 1,478 patients who had taken part in the ABCSG-8 trial, which ran from 1996 to 2009. They found that the PAM50 ROR score provided significant prognostic information in addition to clinical factors with respect to late distant-relapse-free survival.

After 11 years of median follow-up
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Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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