Study finds breast cancer recurrence score has different implications for men

The TAILORx study published last year offered good news for women with early-stage ER-positive breast cancer who scored at intermediate risk for recurrence according to a genetic assay test. The study indicated that chemotherapy after surgery provided little advantage in overall survival for these women, so they could forgo the treatment.

This conclusion may not directly apply to male patients with the same type of breast cancer.  A new study by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) researchers published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, indicates that a lower threshold is needed for male patients to predict mortality using the genetic assay, Oncotype DX, a commercial diagnostic test. The study’s lead author is Fei Wang, MD, PhD, a visiting research fellow at Vanderbilt University, and its senior author is Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, MPH, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and associate director for Global Health and co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Program at VICC.