Test to determine suitability of chemotherapy now available in Ireland
Chemotherapy is such a crude blunderbus of an instrument, that to see us moving closer to more targeted and personalised cancer treatment is hugely encouraging. One way in which we are moving one step forward in this advance is with the wider availability of the new Oncotype DX test.
The Oncotype DX test is a genomic test which determines if a patient is better suited to anti-hormonal therapy than chemotherapy. It predicts the patient’s likely benefit from chemotherapy as well as their likelihood of breast cancer recurrence.
The test is already in use in the US, Germany and the UK, but was formerly available in Ireland only as part of a clinical trial that took place between 2007 and August 2010. The test is applicable only to those who have early-stage breast cancer.
Oh how I wish this test was available to me when I had to make my own decision regarding chemotherapy back in 2004. The hardest part of my diagnosis (DCIS, early stage breast cancer and no lymph node involvement) was trying to make this decision. My oncologist told me that he couldn’t say for sure whether I needed chemo or not, and as I feared the impact it would have on my fertility, it was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life. In fact right up to the day before treatment was due to start – a week before Christmas 2004, I was unsure whether to go through with it or not. While I was busy regretting that this test wasn’t available 6 years ago in time for me, I thought of the story I posted recently of Evelyn Vaden, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1950, and how far we have come since then. There will always be advances and that is a wonderful thing, but of course what we are all really hoping for is a cure, an end to this disease.
Source of Report: Irish Times
Video Report: NBC/Ohio Health Columbus