AN EASIER CHOICE
Co-author of a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr Kathy Albain, says, “We can now safely avoid chemotherapy in 70 per cent of patients diagnosed with the most common form of breast cancer.” The Oncotype DX gene test examines how active 21 specific genes are and calculates a ‘recurrence score’ of zero to 100. Scores over 25 indicate using chemotherapy, scores 10 and under indicate no chemo and scores between 11 and 25 remain a grey area. The study involved more than 10,000 women with hormone-receptor-positive, HER-2negative breast cancer. Half received hormone therapy and chemo, and half received hormone therapy alone. For women under the age of 50, outcomes were similar when test scores were 15 or below, though for younger women scoring between 16 and 25, chemotherapy slightly improved outcomes.