A new multigene test designed to predict the risk of breast cancer recurrence represents the first time such an assay has been used to differentiate lower-risk ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) from more aggressive forms, ultimately sparing many newly diagnosed patients from unnecessary radiation therapy.

The test employs reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technology to identify RNA levels in tumors. This information is then used in an algorithm to calculate the DCIS Score and to determine whether the patient should undergo surgery (usually lumpectomy) or a combination of surgery and radiation.

Lawrence J. Solin, MD, chair of the department of radiation oncology at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, presented his team’s results at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held December 6-10, 2011, in San Antonio, Texas. He also reported 10-year results of a study of 46 patients with ipsilateral breast event (IBE; defined as ipsilateral local recurrence of DCIS or invasive cancer) at a median follow-up of 8.8 years. Continuous DCIS Score was significantly associated with IBE when adjusted for tamoxifen use, and provided value beyond the traditional measures of tumor size, tumor grade, and margin status.


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