Oncotype DX® test

Research scientists looking at a sample

Oncotype DX® test

The Oncotype DX test ® looks at the activity of a group of 21 genes in your tumour. It can:

  • Give more information about if your cancer is likely to come back in the future. 
  • Help your doctors decide if you will benefit from chemotherapy as part of your treatment. 

Who is the Oncotype DX test useful for?

The Oncotype DX test is only helpful for patients with:

  • Early stage breast cancer.
  • Oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) cancer. This means that the breast cancer is stimulated by the hormone oestrogen.
  • Lymph node negative. This means there that there are no cancer cells in your lymph glands.
  • HER2 negative. This means that the cancer does not have high levels of the HER2 protein.

How is the test done?

A sample of breast cancer tissue taken during your breast cancer surgery will be sent away for testing. Testing takes 10-14 days, after which you can discuss the results with your oncologist.

What is the Oncotype DX recurrence score?

Your recurrence score can predict how likely it is that your cancer will come back (recur) in the future. The score is a number between 0 and 100. A lower score means a lower chance of recurrence. 

What does my recurrence score mean for me?

Recurrence scores can help to show how effective chemotherapy will be for you. It can help you to avoid unnecessary chemotherapy treatment. 

Low recurrence score

If your recurrence score is low, this means that there is a low chance of the disease coming back. It is unlikely that you will need chemotherapy but you will be offered hormone therapy.

High recurrence score 

If you have a high recurrence score, this means that here is a high risk or higher chance of the disease coming back. On the positive side, it also means that chemotherapy will work more effectively for you. You will most likely be offered chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

Can Oncotype DX show if radiotherapy will help me?

No. Oncotype DX will only tell you about the possible benefits of chemotherapy. The decision about radiotherapy will depend on the type of surgery you had. Your doctor will discuss your individual treatments with you in detail.

For more information

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