Skip to content

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

3 Breast Cancer Gene Tests 'Promising'

Breast Cancer Gene Tests Help Check Recurrence Risk and Treatment Options
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 4, 2008 -- Three breast cancer gene tests may provide insights on recurrence risk and chemotherapy treatment.

So say Johns Hopkins University's Luigi Marchionni, MD, PhD, and colleagues.

They reviewed data on three breast cancer gene tests that are already on the market -- Oncotype DX, MammaPrint, and H/I -- which check activity of various breast cancer-related genes.

Oncotype DX screens 21 genes, MammaPrint screens 70 genes, and H/I screens two genes. The tests aren't marketed for all women; they're geared to breast cancer patients.

The bottom line: The tests provide information, but it's not yet clear how to put that information in context or into practice.

"Although these tests show great promise to improve predictions of prognosis and treatment benefit for early-stage breast cancer, more needs to be learned about the extent of that improvement, in whom they affect, and how they are best incorporated into decision-making about current breast cancer treatment," Marchionni's team writes.

The review appears online today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow