The impact of Oncotype DX testing on adjuvant chemotherapy decision making in 1–3 node positive breast cancer

Yogeshkumar Malam, Mohamed Rabie, Konstantinos Geropantas, Susanna Alexander, Simon Pain, Mina Youssef

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Background: Oncotype DX testing has reduced the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in node-negative early breast cancer but less is known about its impact in node positive patients. Aim: This study aimed to investigate the impact of Oncotype DX gene assay testing on the decision to offer adjuvant chemotherapy in oestrogen positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative, 1–3 lymph node positive patients. Methods: Retrospective review of all node positive patients who underwent Oncotype DX testing at a single centre. Clinicopathological data, as well as estimated survival benefit data (from the PREDICT tool), was evaluated by a multidisciplinary group of surgeons and oncologists. Treatment decisions based on clinicopathological data were compared to recurrence scores (RS). A cut off RS > 30 was used to offer adjuvant chemotherapy. Results: The 69 patients were identified, of which 9 (13%) had an RS > 30 and assigned a high-genomic risk of recurrence. The 32 patients (46.4%) were offered adjuvant chemotherapy. Overall based on the use of the RS, the decision to offer adjuvant chemotherapy changed in 36% of patients, and ultimately 24 patients (34.7%) would have been spared chemotherapy. Conclusion: Using clinicopathological data alone to make decisions regarding adjuvant chemotherapy in node positive breast cancer leads to overtreatment. Additional information on tumour biology as assessed by the Oncotype DX RS helps to select those patients who will benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy and spare patients from unnecessary chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1546
JournalCancer Reports
Issue number8
Early online date19 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • adjuvant chemotherapy
  • breast cancer
  • gene based assay
  • node positive
  • Oncotype DX

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