The impact of the 21-gene assay on adjuvant treatment decisions in oestrogen receptor-positive early breast cancer: a prospective study.
Kuchel A., Robinson T., Comins C., Shere M., Varughese M., Sparrow G., Sahu A., Saunders L., Bahl A., Cawthorn SJ., Braybrooke JP.
BACKGROUND: International guidelines, including NICE, recommend using the 21-gene Recurrence Score assay for guiding adjuvant treatment decisions in ER+, HER2-negative early breast cancer (BC). We investigated the impact of adding this assay to standard pathological tests on clinicians'/patients' treatment decisions and on patients' decisional conflict in the United Kingdom. METHODS: In this prospective multicentre study, eligibility criteria included: ER+ HER2-negative BC (N0/Nmic for patients ⩽50 years; ⩽3 positive lymph nodes for patients >50 years) and being fit for chemotherapy. Physicians'/patients' treatment choices and patients' decisional conflict were recorded pre- and post testing. RESULTS: The analysis included 137 patients. Overall, adjuvant treatment recommendations changed in 40.7% of patients, with the direction of the change consistent with the Recurrence Score results (net decrease in chemotherapy recommendation rate in low Recurrence Score patients and net increase in high Recurrence Score patients). Patients' choices were generally consistent with physicians' recommendations. Post-testing, patients' decisional conflict decreased significantly (P<0.0001). In the 67 patients meeting the NICE criteria for testing, the recommendation change rate was 49.3%. CONCLUSIONS: Recurrence Score testing significantly influenced treatment recommendations overall and in the subgroup of patients meeting the NICE criteria, suggesting that this test could substantially alter treatment patterns in the United Kingdom.