Confirmation that Oncotype DX Colon Cancer Test Predicts Recurrence Risk

Posted on November 8th, 2011 by

Among patients with Stage II colon cancer, use of the Oncotype DX colon cancer test provides information about risk of cancer recurrence and may help guide treatment decisions. These results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Gene expression profiling explores the patterns of genes that are active in tumor cells. Studies suggest that gene expression may provide important information about prognosis or likely response to treatment in several types of cancer. For example, among women with early-stage, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, the Oncotype DX breast cancer test has been shown to predict the likelihood of cancer recurrence and the likelihood of benefit from chemotherapy. As a result, the test has been added to medical guidelines for early-stage breast cancer.

A similar test became available for patients with Stage II colon cancer in 2010. Stage II colon cancer refers to cancer that extends through the wall of the colon but has not invaded lymph nodes or spread to distant parts of the body. Many patients with this stage of disease have good outcomes with surgery alone, and routine adjuvant (post-surgery) chemotherapy is not currently recommended for Stage II colon cancer. Chemotherapy may, however, be considered for Stage II patients with a higher risk of cancer recurrence.

The current analysis involved 1,436 patients with Stage II colon cancer. Patients were treated with either surgery alone or surgery plus chemotherapy.

  • Among patients treated with surgery alone, the Oncotype DX results provided information about risk of cancer recurrence: three-year risk of recurrence was 12% among those classified by the test as low risk, 18% among those classified as intermediate risk, and 22% among those classified as high risk.
  • Other factors (such as T stage and MMR status) also affected recurrence risk and are likely to continue to play an important role in treatment decisions.

These results confirm that the Oncotype DX colon cancer test provides information about risk of cancer recurrence among patients with Stage II colon cancer.

Reference: Gray RG, Quirke P, Handley K et al. Validation study of a quantitative multigene reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay for assessment of recurrence risk in patients with stage II colon cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Early online publication November 7, 2011.

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Tags: Adjuvant (I-III, A-C) Colon Cancer, Colon Cancer, News

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