A genetic test can help women with “stage zero” breast cancer avoid radiation therapy.
The test was able to predict whether ductal carcinoma in situ – sometimes known as stage zero cancer – is likely to recur. Since about half of recurrences are more serious, most women are treated with radiation therapy.
DCIS - also known as stage zero breast cancer - represents an increasing share of new diagnoses.The test "could help doctors better judge which women diagnosed with DCIS are at high risk for recurrence or an invasive breast cancer diagnosis in the future and would benefit from radiation therapy after surgery," according to breastcancer.org .
The test may be available to doctors as early as next week.
"Using a molecular-based assay, we have successfully identified patients at higher risk for recurrence and patients at lower risk," said Principal Investigator Lawrence J. Solin, MD, of Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. This is an important advance for women with newly diagnosed DCIS. By predicting individual risk, physicians can provide a more tailored treatment program for each patient."
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