70-Gene Signature Pinpoints Risks from Breast Cancer

Gene signature model predicts recurrence, death more accurately than clinicopathologic findings

THURSDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The expression pattern of a set of 70 breast cancer-related genes can accurately assess a patient's risk of recurrence or death, researchers report in the Sept. 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Marc Buyse, Sc.D., from the International Drug Development Institute in Brussels, Belgium, and members of the TRANSBIG consortium, sought to validate the previously established 70-gene signature as a predictor of breast cancer risk in an independent group of 307 patients, 137 of whom had events during a median follow-up of 13.6 years.

The investigators found that the 70-gene signature model outperformed clinicopathologic assessment in predicting risk of all endpoints, including time to distant metastases and overall survival. For example, the unadjusted hazard ratio for overall survival using the gene signature model was 2.79, while the hazard ratio predicted by clinicopathologic findings was 1.67.

Richard Simon, D.Sc., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., writes in an accompanying editorial that the findings "illustrate many desirable features of gene expression profiling studies for optimizing treatment selection for individual patients."

Some of the authors are shareholders in Agendia, the company that markets the 70-gene signature as Mammaprint.

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