MammaPrint Test

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The MammaPrint test, made by Agendia, is a genomic test that analyzes the activity of certain genes in early-stage breast cancer.

Research suggests the MammaPrint test may eventually be widely used to help make treatment decisions based on the cancer's risk of coming back (recurrence) within 10 years after diagnosis.

Knowing if a woman has a high or low risk of early-stage breast cancer coming back might help women and their doctors decide if chemotherapy or other treatments to reduce risk after surgery are needed.

What are genomic tests?

Genomic tests analyze a sample of a cancer tumor to see how active certain genes are. The activity level of these genes affects the behavior of the cancer, including how likely it is to grow and spread. Genomic tests are used to help make decisions about whether more treatments after surgery would be beneficial.

While their names sound similar, genomic testing and genetic testing are very different.

Genetic testing is done on a sample of your blood, saliva, or other tissue and can tell if you have an abnormal change (also called a mutation) in a gene that is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. See the Genetic Testing pages for more information.

Who's eligible for the MammaPrint test?

MammaPrint can only be used to analyze early-stage breast cancers. In the United States, MammaPrint can be used on cancers that are:

  • stage I or stage II
  • invasive
  • smaller than 5 centimeters
  • estrogen-receptor-positive or -negative 

Internationally, MammaPrint can be used on cancers that are:

  • stage I or stage II
  • invasive
  • smaller than 5 centimeters
  • in three or fewer lymph nodes

In both the United States and internationally, MammaPrint can be used to analyze cancers that are hormone-receptor-positive and hormone-receptor-negative.

The MammaPrint test can be performed on fresh or freshly frozen breast cancer tissue or tissue that has been treated or "fixed" with a special solution to preserve the genetic material. The MammaPrint test also can be done on a sample of preserved tissue that was removed during the original biopsy or surgery.

How does the MammaPrint test work?

The MammaPrint test looks at the activity of 70 genes and then calculates a recurrence score that is either low risk or high risk.

If you decide to have the MammaPrint test, you and your doctor will consider a number of factors when deciding on whether to add chemotherapy to your treatment plan, including:

  • your age
  • the size of the cancer
  • cancer grade
  • whether cancer cells were found in nearby lymph nodes
  • your general health

Insurance coverage for MammaPrint

Some insurance companies will pay for the total cost of the MammaPrint test, while others may pay a portion of the cost.

If you're considering the MammaPrint test, talk to your insurance company to find out if it's covered.

Agendia offers the Reimbursement Assistance Program to help with insurance and payment issues. If you don't have insurance or your insurance company doesn't cover the MammaPrint test, Agendia may still be able to help.

Other genomic tests

There are other genomics tests used to analyze breast cancer tumors. To learn more, click on the links below.

  • The Breast Cancer Index test is used to predict the risk of node-negative, hormone-receptor breast cancer coming back 5 to 10 years after diagnosis.
  • The EndoPredict test is used to predict the risk of distant recurrence of early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that is either node-negative or has up to three positive lymph nodes.
  • The Mammostrat test is used to predict the risk of recurrence of early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
  • The Oncotype DX test is used to predict the risk of recurrence of early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer, as well as how likely it is that a woman diagnosed with this type of cancer will benefit from chemotherapy after surgery. The Oncotype DX DCIS test is used to predict the risk of recurrence of DCIS and/or the risk of a new invasive cancer developing in the same breast, as well as how likely it is that a woman diagnosed with DCIS will benefit from radiation after surgery.
  • The Prosigna Breast Cancer Prognostic Gene Signature Assay (formerly called the PAM50 test) is used to predict the risk of distant recurrence for postmenopausal women within 10 years of diagnosis of early-stage, hormone-receptor positive disease with up to three positive lymph nodes after 5 years of hormonal therapy.

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