Vienna, Austria: Testing a breast cancer tumour for its genomic signature can help identify which patients will need adjuvant systemic therapy (additional chemotherapy) after surgery, and spare its use in those for whom it is not necessary, according to the results of a study to be presented to the 8th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-8) today (Thursday). Dr. Sabine Linn, an Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, will say that this is the first study where such a test has been incorporated in decision-making about adjuvant systemic therapy, and that the results are promising.
Adjuvant chemotherapy is used in order to destroy any microscopic cancer cells that might still be present in the body after surgery. Although it is effective, the side effects can be distressing. "Based on our data, the use of the genomic test could lead to a reduction of nearly 30% in the use of adjuvant chemotherapy without compromising patient outcomes," Dr. Linn will say. "This percentage may vary somewhat due to different guidelines used in different countries. These findings are important both for quality of life and for cutting down unnecessary healthcare costs."
The researchers studied follow-up data from 427 patients with early breast cancer who had taken part in a study called RASTER (MicroarRAy prognoSTics in breast cancER). Their cancers had not yet spread to the lymph nodes (node-negative). By looking for a particular selection of 70 genes in a tumour, the Mammaprint test can predict which patients are at low and which at high risk of distant disease (metastasis); this enables doctors to select which patients could be spared the side effects of chemotherapy without adversely affecting their chances of disease-free survival. The study aimed to assess the feasibility of implementing the test in daily clinical practice in The Netherlands, as well as its effect on adjuvant systemic treatmen
|Contact: Mary Rice|
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation