The clinician’s perspective on the 21-gene assay in early breast cancer
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Francesco Cognetti1 and Giuseppe Naso1
1 Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
Keywords: Oncotype DX test; recurrence score results; multigene assays; genomic tests; personalized medicine
Received: September 11, 2021 Accepted: November 10, 2021 Published: December 21, 2021
Most patients with early HR+ and HER2- breast cancer receive a hormone therapy; the clinical question still open is how to identify patients who can really benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. The accurate identification of these patients is essential to avoid an over-treatment, increasing the risk of an unnecessary toxicity; on the contrary, the omission of chemotherapy can deprive high risk patients of a potential life-saving treatment (under-treatment). Several multigene assays (MGAs), assessing the risk of relapse according to the biological characteristics of the tumor, have been developed. To date, the 21-gene assay (Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score®) is the only test developed and validated to be actionable, i.e., able to predict the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy. The different available tests can be classified according to their clinical utility based on their prognostic and predictive value. A prognostic test gives information about the outcome of the disease, regardless of the administered therapy. When the aim of the test is to drive the treatment decisions, the predictive component, and therefore the ability to accurately identify which patients could benefit from chemotherapy, is essential. This review summarizes the clinical evidences of the Oncotype DX® test supporting its clinical utility.
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