Dr. Richard Bender is a clinical oncologist and the Chief Medical Officer for Agendia, a company that has developed a new breast cancer test for assessing the risk of recurrence in patients. Today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dr. Bender is revealing a new testing format for a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, HER2-positive, caused by the over-expression of a gene called HER2.
Until recently, the two tests for this form of breast cancer, while reliable, have been subjective. Reliance for accuracy of the level of cancer is determined by the analysis of cell tissue under a microscope. Dr. Bender and Agendia have developed a new testing format that uses gene expression profiling, allowing pathologists to analyze the actual biology of the cancer cells.
The new test, known as MammaPrint, is debunking previous classifications that all HER2 diagnosed patients are at high risk of relapse. In fact, the test found that 16 percent of HER2-positive breast cancer patients do not need any treatment at all, and some HER2-positive women categorized as high risk are actually low risk for recurrence. In addition, for those who need additional treatment, MammaPrint can predict which tumors will be sensitive to chemotherapy.
For more information on the background of HER2 testing and the new MammaPrint test, please read New Testing Methodology For HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Reveals That Not All Patients Are At Risk for Reoccurrence at TotallyHer.
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