Genomic Health UK announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its latest quality standard, recommending the use of the Oncotype DX test in eligible patients with early-stage breast cancer.
The new standard states that people with oestrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-negative) and lymph node-negative early breast cancer who are at intermediate risk of distant recurrence should be offered gene expression profiling with Oncotype DX.
The test provides information about the genetic makeup of a tumour and predicts whether a patient is likely to benefit from chemotherapy. This can help avoid unnecessary chemotherapy and the associated harmful side-effects and costs.
“Oncotype DX is an important diagnostic tool that can help spare women from the side-effects of chemotherapy,” said Dr Jeremy Braybrooke, Consultant Medical Oncologist, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. “It enables us to look at the fundamental drivers of a particular tumour and make more informed decisions about who will benefit most from treatment with chemotherapy.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with more than 50,000 new cases diagnosed and nearly 12,000 deaths recorded in 2013.1
The NICE quality standard has been updated to reflect changes in the national priorities for improvements in breast cancer care since the original standard’s publication in 2011. Genomic expression profiling is one of six statements that require attention of commissioners, health care professionals and service providers to help drive more widespread and consistent adoption in order to improve the quality of care.
“The data shows that patients feel more confident in their decision when using this test and it assists them at a time when they are potentially vulnerable,” said Dr Victoria Harmer, Lead Breast Nurse Specialist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. “We welcome the updated NICE quality standard which aims to improve the quality of care for breast cancer patients through more personalised treatment decisions.”
Oncotype DX is the only multi-gene test validated for its ability to predict the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit as well as risk of recurrence in early-stage breast cancer. Following assessment and recommendation by NICE in 2013, the test is now widely available to patients across the UK and has been used to personalise treatment decisions in 600,000 patients worldwide.