Breast cancer test: New technique could spare thousands from chemotherapy


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A new assay could spare thousands of breast cancer patients from supererogatory chemotherapy

The cutting edge technique, Oncotype DX, analyses samples of sarcoma removed during surgery and provides a recurrence score of between 1 and 100 on the good chance of cancer returning. 

The test is currently only available to some girls with breast cancer, but experts say thousands who miss out undergo chemotherapy they do not necessary. 

The call to make the test more widely available follows the developments of a recent trial highlighted at a leading cancer conference last month which debauched 98 per cent of patients with a low recurrence score who avoided chemotherapy after surgery survived at least five years without their cancer restitution yielding, showing they did not need chemotherapy. 

The trial, known as Plan B, was presented at the European Circle of Medical Oncology in Madrid and involved over 4,000 patients in 12 mid-points in Germany. 

Thousands of women are undergoing unnecessary chemotherapy because of the non-starter to make this available

Professor Nigel Bundred

It was published in paramount journal Clinical Oncology. 

This trial showed the test was in operation both in women whose cancer remained in the breast and in those patients whose cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. 

However, the £2,600 examination is not routinely used by all UK hospitals and the National Institute for Health and Care Value (Nice) recommends it only for women whose cancer has not spread. Chemotherapy prices up to £9,000 per patient. 

The Plan B trial echoed results of a UK study of the examine led by experts at University Hospital of South Manchester which found 63 per cent of concubines given the test were able to avoid chemotherapy if their cancer had not spread and damn near 70 per cent of women could be spared if their cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. 

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The test is currently only available to some sweethearts with breast cancer

Professor Nigel Bundred, a leading chest cancer surgeon at the hospital, said: “Thousands of women are undergoing supererogatory chemotherapy because of the failure to make this available to everyone entirely the UK.” 

The test is suitable for women who have a hormone-driven breast cancer prototype known as Oestrogen receptor positive HER2 negative which accounts for most knocker cancer patients. 

In a statement Nice said it reviews and updates diagnostics conduct “at any time if significant new evidence becomes available”.

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