New test available to detect proper treatment for some breast cancer patients

LITTLE ROCK (KATV)--A new study just released, is changing the treatment recommendations for preinvasive breast cancer patients. Baptist Health was the only site in Arkansas and one of 10 in the country that participated in this groundbreaking study. This clinical trial is just the first step in helping patients get the best treatment available, because up until now, for non-invasive tumors, doctors had no accurate way of telling if they were under treating or over treating a patient. There are many types of breast cancer, but two main groups. The two groups are invasive, where the tumor can spread, or non-invasive where it stays in place. One in five women are affected with non-invasive tumors when diagnosed with breast cancer, with more than 50,000 cases a year in the U.S. "Our problem with that tumor is we don't know how that person is going to progress," said Dr. Jim Hagans, Baptist Breast Cancer Surgeon and Clinical Investigator for this study. "For example some people may never progress to an invasive cancer and other people may progress to an invasive cancer so in that group of patients we might be under treating people or over treating people," he added. Until now, doctors have not had any tests to tell them how to treat a patient because they didn't have predictability in those patients. Instead they went by factors that they now consider unimportant. "How big the tumor was, the aggression of the tumor, was the patient pre or post menopausal, did they have hormone therapy or not?" said Dr. Hagans. However, now that this Oncotype Test has been developed, it's changing the way doctors treat breast cancer. "It's our first time, with this kind of tumor where we have had an objective test with a score to tell you what the risk might be in that person and it says not only might they develop another non-invasive cancer but it also predicts could they develop an invasive cancer down the road." The clinical test is now available for patients, with results coming back within 7-10 days.