Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecular Test Can Predict Both The Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence And Who Will Benefit From Chemotherapy

Date:
December 14, 2004
Source:
NIH/National Cancer Institute
Summary:
A new test can predict both the risk of breast cancer recurrence and may identify women who will benefit most from chemotherapy, according to research supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and performed in collaboration with the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and Genomic Health Inc.

A new test can predict both the risk of breast cancer recurrence and may identify women who will benefit most from chemotherapy, according to research supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and performed in collaboration with the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and Genomic Health Inc. These results suggest that almost half of 43,000 U.S. women diagnosed with estrogen-dependent, lymph-node negative breast cancer every year are at low risk for recurrence and may not need to go through the discomfort and side effects of chemotherapy.

The test is based on levels of expression (increased or decreased) of a panel of cancer-related genes. This panel is used to predict whether estrogen-dependent breast cancer will come back, according to a study that will be published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on Friday, December 10, 2004*. Scientists on this study also will present new results on that day at San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium indicating that the same test can predict which women benefit most from chemotherapy. Women with low risk of breast cancer recurrence-about half of the women in the recent study-do not appear to derive much benefit from chemotherapy.

The researchers used tissue samples and medical records from women enrolled in clinical trials of the cancer drug tamoxifen, which blocks the effect of estrogen on breast cancer cells. These women had a kind of breast cancer defined as estrogen receptor-positive, lymph node-negative. Each year, 43,000 women are diagnosed with this kind of breast cancer, which needs estrogen to grow but has not spread to the lymph nodes. Currently, many women with this type of breast cancer in the United States do receive chemotherapy in addition to hormonal therapy.

Using samples from 447 patients and a collection of 250 genes in three independent preliminary studies, 16 cancer-related genes were found that worked best. The scientists created a formula that generates a "recurrence score" based on the expression patterns of these genes in a tumor sample. Ranging from 1 to 100, the recurrence score is a measure of the risk that a given cancer will recur**.

Prior to this research, analysis of the expression of genes was performed on tumor specimens that were frozen rather than tissue prepared for routine pathologic evaluation (fixed and embedded). The expression analysis depended on measurement of RNA (the molecule necessary for the translation of a gene into a protein), and RNA is altered when tissues are fixed and embedded. Frozen tissues are generally not readily available in routine practice. Researchers at Genomic Health, Inc. developed a method for performing these analyses on tissues embedded in paraffin wax. Their method allows them to use the altered RNA that is found in fixed tissue.

The results published in the New England Journal of Medicine validate the ability of the recurrence score to predict risk of recurrence. Using biopsy tissue and medical records from another NSABP tamoxifen trial, researchers divided 668 women into low, intermediate, and high risk of recurrence groups. Fifty-one percent were in the low risk group (with a score of less than 18); 22 percent were at intermediate risk (recurrence score 18 or higher but less than 31); 27 percent were at high risk (a score of 31 or higher).

These risk group divisions correlated well with the actual rates of recurrence of breast cancer after 10 years. There was a significant difference in recurrence rates between women in the low and high risk groups. In the low risk group, there was a 6.8 percent rate of recurrence at 10 years; in the intermediate and high risk categories these rates were 14.3 and 30.5 percent, respectively. Up to a recurrence score of 50, rates of recurrence increased continuously as the recurrence score increased. These trends held across age groups and tumor size.

###

* Print version: Paik S, Shak S, Wolmark N, et al. A multigene assay to predict recurrence of node-negative, estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer in tamoxifen-treated patients. New England Journal of Medicine, 351(27). December 30, 2004.

** This technology is called the Oncotype DX™.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Cancer Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Cancer Institute. "Molecular Test Can Predict Both The Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence And Who Will Benefit From Chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041214083133.htm>.
NIH/National Cancer Institute. (2004, December 14). Molecular Test Can Predict Both The Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence And Who Will Benefit From Chemotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041214083133.htm
NIH/National Cancer Institute. "Molecular Test Can Predict Both The Risk Of Breast Cancer Recurrence And Who Will Benefit From Chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041214083133.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins