Oncotype DX for Breast Cancer

"Oncotype DX" is a genomic test used for breast cancer patients.

It analyzes 21 cancer genes to generate a personalized score from 0 to 100, predicting cancer aggressiveness. In this video, we review its benefits and limitations.

Read the full video transcript below:

This video is an overview of the Oncotype DX test for patients with breast cancer.

Oncotype DX is a genomic test that helps doctors make more personalized treatment decisions for patients with breast cancer. A genomic test means it is testing the genes of the cancer, not the genes of the patient.

Oncotype DX tests 21 cancer genes.  It takes that information and translates it into a score from 0-100 that predicts how aggressive that individual’s cancer will behave.

Doctors use this information to make personalized recommendations about whether or not that patient needs to have chemotherapy.

For patients with high oncotype scores, chemotherapy is helpful to defend against the risk of aggressive cancer growing back after surgery.  For patients with low oncotype scores, there is no benefit to adding additional chemotherapy and those patients can have hormone therapy alone. 

In other words, Oncotype DX helps doctors and patients tailor the treatment to each patient’s specific needs.

One of the biggest benefits is avoiding unnecessary chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may cause severe or long-term side effects. Oncotype DX helps identify those who are unlikely to benefit from it, sparing them the unnecessary suffering. 

There are, however, some limitations of Oncotype DX. It can be expensive, and insurance coverage may vary. It's essential to discuss the cost and insurance options with your healthcare provider. 

The test is most beneficial for specific types and stages of breast cancer; it may not be suitable for all breast cancer patients. 

Oncotype DX is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s used alongside other factors like tumor size, lymph node involvement, and patient preferences to make treatment decisions. 

This is not medical advice. Talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions.