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J Clin Oncol. 2012 Jun 20;30(18):2218-26. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.38.5740. Epub 2012 May 14.

Adoption of gene expression profile testing and association with use of chemotherapy among women with breast cancer.

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  • 1Center for Outcomes and Policy Research, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215, USA. michael_hassett@dfci.harvard.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Gene expression profile (GEP) testing is a relatively new technology that offers the potential of personalized medicine to patients, yet little is known about its adoption into routine practice. One of the first commercially available GEP tests, a 21-gene profile, was developed to estimate the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer (HR-positive BC).

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

By using a prospective registry data set outlining the routine care provided to women diagnosed from 2006 to 2008 with HR-positive BC at 17 comprehensive and community-based cancer centers, we assessed GEP test adoption and the association between testing and chemotherapy use.

RESULTS:

Of 7,375 women, 20.4% had GEP testing and 50.2% received chemotherapy. Over time, testing increased (14.7% in 2006 to 27.5% in 2008; P < .01) and use of chemotherapy decreased (53.9% in 2006 to 47.0% in 2008; P < .01). Characteristics independently associated with lower odds of testing included African American versus white race (odds ratio [OR], 0.70; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.92) and high school or less versus more than high school education (OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.52 to 0.76). Overall, testing was associated with lower odds of chemotherapy use (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.80). Stratified analyses demonstrated that for small, node-negative cancers, testing was associated with higher odds of chemotherapy use (OR, 11.13; 95% CI, 5.39 to 22.99), whereas for node-positive and large node-negative cancers, testing was associated with lower odds of chemotherapy use (OR, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.17).

CONCLUSION:

There has been a progressive increase in use of this GEP test and an associated shift in the characteristics of and overall reduction in the proportion of women with HR-positive BC receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.

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