eClinical Technology and Industy News

Largest study of its kind informs treatment of breast cancer in men

Excerpt from the Press Release:

Commonly used recurrence risk tests found to be useful for male patients

Breast cancer is usually thought of as a disease that affects women, but many are not aware that men can develop breast cancer as well. Two-hundred and forty men in Canada were diagnosed with the disease in 2020 and it is estimated that 2,650 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed this year. Given that only one per cent of breast cancers occur in men they have been largely left out of breast cancer research, including clinical trials, which makes clinical decision making more difficult for male breast cancer patients and their doctors.

“The biggest defining feature of a breast cancer, in both men and women, is the expression of the hormone estrogen receptor, with most breast cancers being estrogen receptor positive. Given the differences in hormonal chemistry between men and women, and that the vast majority of breast cancer research is on women, we decided to study if commonly used diagnostic tests were indeed useful for male patients,” explains Dr. Jane Bayani, Co-Director of OICR’s Diagnostic Development Program and Principal Research Scientist at OICR. “These tests are important as they help patients and clinicians decide on their approach to treatment.”

The study, recently published in NPJ Breast Cancer, found that the most common tests for breast cancer reoccurrence risk can be used to guide clinical decision making for male breast cancer patients. It evaluated the prognostic value of these tests by emulating the risk classifications from commercial Prosigna, OncotypeDX and MammaPrint tests, as well as using a 95-gene signature developed and patented by the OICR Diagnostic Development team. They found that at a population level the tests performed similarly in men as they do in women.

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