Oncotype DX® is a tumor profiling test that helps determine the benefit of using chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy for some estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) breast cancers.
Every cell in your body has genes that contain the blueprints (genetic code) for your body. Similarly, every cell in a breast tumor has genes. These genes contain the blueprints for the tumor.
Tumor profiling (using gene expression profiling tools) gives information about the genes in cancer cells. Oncotype DX is a tumor profiling test.
Although other tumor profiling tests (such as MammaPrint® and PAM50 (also called Prosigna®)) are available, Oncotype DX is the most commonly used test in the U.S.
Oncotype DX tests a sample of the tumor (removed during a biopsy or surgery) for a group of 21 genes.
Along with other factors, the results of the Oncotype DX test help predict the chance of metastasis (when cancer spreads to other organs).
If Oncotype DX shows a person has a fairly high risk of metastasis (the Oncotype DX score is high), a more aggressive treatment plan that includes both hormone therapy and chemotherapy may be advised [32-34].
If the test shows a low risk of metastasis (the Oncotype DX score is low), the use of hormone therapy alone may be considered [32-34].
In this way, Oncotype DX may help some people with ER-positive breast cancer avoid chemotherapy and its side effects.
Oncotype DX helps predict the chance of metastasis for breast cancers that are all of the following [32-34]:
Oncotype DX may also be used in select postmenopausal women with invasive breast cancers that are all of the following [32-33]:
Although Oncotype DX can give some prognostic information in select premenopausal women with lymph node-positive breast cancers, it’s not used to guide treatment for these women.
Researchers have not yet studied whether it can help predict chemotherapy benefit for premenopausal women with lymph node-positive breast cancers.
The Oncotype DX test for invasive breast cancer has been modified to help predict the chance ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) will return as DCIS or invasive breast cancer .
It tests a sample of the DCIS tumor (removed during a biopsy or surgery) for a group of 12 genes.
This test may help identify which cases of DCIS would benefit most from radiation therapy after lumpectomy (and which women might be treated with lumpectomy alone) .
This test needs further study and is not yet part of standard practice.
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