Tamoxifen - Who will Benefit?
Many of the European agencies have recommended that women should consider taking the drug for an extra five years. And without this test we know that we can't predict exactly who is going to benefit for the extra five years. So, as we have in the past, we tend to offer this to all women. Our many oncologists do that.
And in the past personally I have continued Tamoxifen for what I consider high-risk women, which were women with more aggressive tumors, more positive lymph nodes, etc. But the vast majority of women stopped at five years. Now, with these new studies, many oncologists are going on and pretty much giving most of their patients the option of continuing on. And what they say to their patients is: “I'm not really sure if you're going to benefit, but you may.” And there appears to be about a four percent increased cure rate within the women that are taking it.
This test, the breast cancer index test, allows us to really hone down and identify the women that are truly at risk or higher risk. And so, what we get is a risk score from the test, and that's a high risk or a low risk. And if the woman gets a low risk score on the test, her chance of benefiting are very minimal. On the other hand, if she gets a high risk score, then that increases her chance of relapsing substantially after five years. Then, if you add the prediction part of the test, whether the drugs really help or not, then you really get a very powerful tool, where you can eliminate many women that don't need it and really educate the women to do that.