Cancer test should be made available to all
MORE than 650 Irish women participated in an international trial which helped to validate a gene test for breast cancer. Yet the fruits of this international research effort are not being offered to public patients in Ireland.
The test, called Oncotype Dx, which is available as part of the public health service in many countries, involves testing for a 21- gene signature in the breast cancer patient to help indicate the aggressiveness of the cancer and the associated likelihood of long-term cure or cancer recurrence. Based on the results of the test, the best treatment for the particular patient can be selected.
While the initial cost for the test is high, it can also ensure significant savings in healthcare.