Gene expression profiling is increasingly being used by clinicians to help determine whether or not to offer adjuvant chemotherapy. Oncotype DX is a 21 gene panel developed to predict the risk of tumour recurrence in patients with oestrogen receptor (ER) positive, HER2 negative breast cancer. NICE has recommended its use for patients at intermediate risk of recurrence, where this information would help clinicians to assess the potential benefit of chemotherapy versus endocrine therapy alone. Our aim was to see how oncologists are interpreting Oncotype DX tests in their clinical practice.
Data on patient and tumour characteristics (size, grade, ER/PR/HER2/nodal status), Oncotype DX recurrence score, treatment options offered and treatment outcomes were collected from 14 cancer centres across the UK.
Of the 628 patients tested, 317 (50%) were in the low risk category (recurrence score
Throughout the UK, about half of patients tested had low risk Oncotype scores and the majority (74.1%) of patients tested did not receive chemotherapy. The widest variation in clinical practice was observed in interpreting intermediate risk Oncotype results, and in the chemotherapy regimens offered.
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.