Genetic testing has shown that 70% of the patients who will be treated will not need a test performed at a public hospital in Sao Paulo
The test prevents unnecessary chemotherapy in cases of breast cancer
Debbie G. Nini, from R7
A genetic test called Oncotype DX prevented 70 percent of women with early breast cancer (up to 3 cm) from receiving chemotherapy at Pearl Bovington Hospital in Sao Paulo.
The use of the exam at this public hospital was part of an unpublished study in the country conducted by the Ferala Bittington Hospital in partnership with the Fleury Group, which was published Saturday (13) at the Congress of the Brazilian Association of Mastology.
More than 35% had advanced breast cancer
The study involved 111 women between the ages of 34 and 78 at the age of 57. Before the genetic test, 109 met clinical criteria for chemotherapy. But the test showed that only 33 needed this type of treatment and one patient, who had no indication after the outcome, was considered to be at high risk.
"From clinical criteria, such as the degree of aggressiveness of the tumor and the age of the patient, we decided whether it would be chemotherapeutic." When the results of the genetic tests arrived, 70% of the cases changed our mind. Clinical, simple, is not enough, "says expert Andre Matar, a member of the Brazilian Association of Mastiology and Research Center.
Learn more: "Genetic fungus" takes 1 out of 8 women to get breast cancer
Today, when the tumor is considered primary, the protocol is surgery, according to the doctor. Chemotherapy is marked by aggression. The goal is to prevent him from returning.
"In the past, breast cancer was diagnosed only at an advanced stage because there were no testing methods, currently small but diagnosed but aggressive tumors, which are small only because they initially are biased," he says.
The DX Oncotype test was done on the removed tumor surgically. It extracts the RNA from the tumor, analyzing 21 genes. The result translates to 0 to 100. The lower the value, the lower the need for chemotherapy.
According to the doctor, he details the risk of tumor aggression, and allows for a more appropriate therapeutic decision.
The test has been available in Brazil in the private network and cost about R $ 13,000. It is not yet offered by the public network and is not covered by health insurance. "The idea in the future is that we will have a test like this for everyone," says an outline.
Read also: The number of mammograms between 50 and 69 years is the lowest in 5 years
He explains that without the test, the clinical criteria for the indication of chemotherapy are the histological score, which refers to tumor aggression, ranging from 1 to 3, and class A does not show the need for chemotherapy; Age of the patient, or cancer, women under the age of 50 benefit more from chemotherapy than those over this age; If there are lymph nodes damaged by the disease or not; The value of hormone receptor positive estrogen and progesterone – the higher the value, the greater the benefit of hormone therapy and less with chemotherapy. And the last parameter, the size of the tumor. The greater the need for chemotherapy, the doctor points out.
Get all your questions about breast cancer: