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Aug 14, 2006
 |  BioCentury  |  Tools & Techniques

Breast cancer tests: Same difference

Researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that even though different diagnostic developers have created tests for breast cancer using different gene sets, four of five tests that they analyzed showed significant agreement in the outcome predictions for individual patients. Thus they are likely tracking a common set of phenotypes.

"The results are accurate and provide precise information for patients to make the right choices," said Charles Perou, the lead researcher on the study and assistant professor of genetics and pathology at the University of North Carolina.

"Breast cancer is not one disease, it's four or five different diseases. Each of these tests are in tune to pick up these diseases," he added.

The five tests consisted of a 70-gene good-versus-poor outcome model (marketed as MammaPrint), a wound-response model, a recurrence-score model (marketed as Oncotype DX), an intrinsic subtype model and a two-gene ratio model. The three non-marketed tests are in development by various institutions.

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