Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oncotype Explanation

Yes, I am still waiting for Oncotype score, but I found this explanation of what it really is and why and thought it may be helpful to anyone that may want to understand its purpose more. I should hear next week what more score is and what chemo will consist of. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

Tests of gene patterns

Researchers have found that looking at the patterns of a number of different genes at the same time (sometimes referred to as gene expression profiling) can help predict whether or not an early stage breast cancer is likely to come back after initial treatment. Two such tests, which look at different sets of genes, are now available: the Oncotype DX® and the MammaPrint®
Oncotype DX®: The Oncotype DX test may be helpful when deciding whether additional (adjuvant) treatment with chemotherapy (after surgery) might be useful in women with certain early-stage breast cancers that usually have a low chance of coming back (stage I or II estrogen receptor–positive breast cancers without lymph node involvement). Recent data has shown it may also be helpful for patients with positive lymph nodes.
The test looks at a set of 21 genes in cells from tumor samples to determine a 'recurrence score', which is a number between 0 and 100:
  • Women with a recurrence score of 17 or below have a low risk of recurrence (coming back after treatment).
  • Those with a score of 18 to 30 are at intermediate risk.
  • Women with a score of 31 or more are at high risk.
The test estimates risk, but it cannot tell for certain if any particular woman will have a recurrence. It is a tool that can be used, along with other factors, to help guide women and their doctors when deciding whether more treatment might be useful.

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