Oncotype DX®: A Breast Cancer Multigene Test Helping Patients Avoid Chemotheraphy


A multigene test (21 gene-test) is having an impact to both doctors and patients alike. The test predicts whether a patient will benefit from chemotherapy or not, thereby avoiding chemotherapy altogether in some patients.

The said test is called Oncotype DX®.

The multigene test, Oncotype DX®, is made by Genomic Health Inc. The test examines 21 genes from a tumor sample to determine how active they are. A test score between 0 and 100 predicts how likely the cancer is to recur. For women with low scores, chemotherapy is not recommended.

Since becoming commercially available in 2004, more than 120,000 breast cancer patients have undergone the test. The test is intended for patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes.


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