Breast Cancer Study: Genomic Tests Better Predict Chemo Response

24% of Patients Could Avoid Over- and Under-Treatment with Chemotherapy

2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

DALLAS--()--Advanced “genomic” tests can better predict how a breast cancer patient will respond to chemotherapy before surgery, according to new research led in part by Peter Beitsch, M.D., a breast surgeon at Medical City Dallas Hospital.

The research study’s goal was to determine the effectiveness of two genomic tests – MammaPrint and BluePrint – in providing better information about the molecular subtype of a woman’s breast cancer. Researchers found that, when patients’ tumors were analyzed with these tests, 24% of the tumors were reclassified to a more accurate type when compared to traditional lab tests.

“These results should be encouraging to patients and their physicians,” said Dr. Beitsch. “Physicians are now better able to determine whether a woman has the type of cancer that will respond to chemotherapy, or whether she can safely be treated with surgery and hormonal treatment alone.”

Dr. Beitsch, who led Medical City Dallas’s participation in the multi-site study, reported on the research at the prestigious San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Dec. 11. The ongoing study has so far reported on 191 breast cancer patients between the ages of 22 and 82.

Dallas resident Deborah Kirby, one of the study’s patients, had the genomic tests. Dr. Beitsch determined her tumor would respond well to chemotherapy before surgery. “I’m the one who found my lump in the beginning. By the time I was done with the chemo, I couldn’t even feel it.” Kirby underwent a lumpectomy in January following chemotherapy, and is now slowly returning to work as a home health nurse.

According to Dr. Beitsch, other, older lab tests can lead to overtreatment with chemotherapy, and dangerous under-treatment in other patients.

“Chemotherapy is a powerful but sometimes debilitating course of treatment. This technology assists physicians as they determine whether the side effects endured by the patient are worth the additional benefit gained by chemotherapy,” said Dr. Beitsch. “As a result, we can better position our patients to overcome their disease, and achieve a better quality of life during treatment.”

Unlike genetic tests such as those for BRCA genes, which look at susceptibility for developing breast cancer, genomic tests such as MammaPrint and BluePrint look at genes inside breast cancer and how they function.

Background: Founded in 1974, Medical City is recognized for its state-of-the-art medical facilities and commitment to excellence in patient care. Located in Dallas, the medical team consists of more than 1,150 physicians, including many who are recognized as the world’s best in their specialties. The medical center includes a breadth of nationally and internationally acclaimed specialty programs, including cardiovascular, craniofacial, bariatric, oncology and transplant services. In 2012, Medical City was named number one on the Texas Monthly list of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.

Contacts

Medical City Dallas Hospital
Chris Hawes, 972-566-6422
chris.hawes@hcahealthcare.com

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Contacts

Medical City Dallas Hospital
Chris Hawes, 972-566-6422
chris.hawes@hcahealthcare.com