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3 Breast Cancer Gene Tests 'Promising'

Breast Cancer Gene Tests Help Check Recurrence Risk and Treatment Options
By
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.

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