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Br J Cancer. 2013 Jun 11;108(11):2250-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.207. Epub 2013 May 21.

A decision impact, decision conflict and economic assessment of routine Oncotype DX testing of 146 women with node-negative or pNImi, ER-positive breast cancer in the U.K.

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  • 1Department of Breast Surgery, Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, Wales SA14 8QF, UK.



Tumour gene expression analysis is useful in predicting adjuvant chemotherapy benefit in early breast cancer patients. This study aims to examine the implications of routine Oncotype DX testing in the U.K.


Women with oestrogen receptor positive (ER+), pNO or pN1mi breast cancer were assessed for adjuvant chemotherapy and subsequently offered Oncotype DX testing, with changes in chemotherapy decisions recorded. A subset of patients completed questionnaires about their uncertainties regarding chemotherapy decisions pre- and post-testing. All patients were asked to complete a diary of medical interactions over the next 6 months, from which economic data were extracted to model the cost-effectiveness of testing.


Oncotype DX testing resulted in changes in chemotherapy decisions in 38 of 142 (26.8%) women, with 26 of 57 (45.6%) spared chemotherapy and 12 of 85 (14.1%) requiring chemotherapy when not initially recommended (9.9% reduction overall). Decision conflict analysis showed that Oncotype DX testing increased patients' confidence in treatment decision making. Economic analysis showed that routine Oncotype DX testing costs £6232 per quality-adjusted life year gained.


Oncotype DX decreased chemotherapy use and increased confidence in treatment decision making in patients with ER+ early-stage breast cancer. Based on these findings, Oncotype DX is cost-effective in the UK setting.

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