Mammostrat Test

The Mammostrat test, made by Clarient Diagnostic Services, is a genomic test that measures the levels of five certain genes in early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells.

Research suggests the Mammostrat test eventually may be widely used to help make treatment decisions based on whether the cancer has a lower or high risk of coming back (recurrence).

Knowing whether 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.

While research done so far has been promising, the Mammostrat test isn’t widely used to make treatment decisions. The Mammostrat test isn’t included in the National Comprehensive Cancer Center Network (NCCN) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) treatment guidelines. The NCCN is an alliance of the world's leading cancer centers. These NCCN centers collaborate on research, guidelines, and education to improve the care of people diagnosed with cancer. ASCO is a national organization of oncologists and other cancer care providers. ASCO guidelines give doctors recommendations for treatments that are supported by much credible research and experience.

Who’s eligible for the Mammostrat test?

Mammostrat can be used to analyze early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers. Stage I and stage II cancers are early-stage cancers.

The Mammostrat test is performed on preserved tissue that was removed during the original biopsy or surgery.

How does the Mammostrat test work?

The Mammostrat test measures the levels of five genes in breast cancer cells. These measurements are used to calculate a risk index score. Women are assigned to a risk category (high, moderate, or low) based on their risk index score.

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

  • your age
  • the size of the cancer
  • cancer grade
  • hormone receptor protein levels
  • whether cancer cells were found in nearby lymph nodes

How is the Mammostrat test different from the Oncotype DX test, the MammaPrint test, and the Prosigna assay?

You may have heard about three other tests that analyze breast cancer genes to estimate recurrence risk:

While all four tests analyze genes to help estimate the risk a cancer will come back, there are differences:

  • The Oncotype DX test is used to estimate a woman’s risk of recurrence of early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer, as well as how likely she is to benefit from chemotherapy after breast cancer surgery. The Oncotype DX test also is used to estimate a woman’s recurrence risk of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) and/or the risk of a new invasive cancer developing in the same breast, as well as how likely she is to benefit from radiation therapy after DCIS surgery. The Oncotype DX test analyzes the activity of 21 genes and then calculates a recurrence score number between 0 and 100; the higher the score, the greater the risk of recurrence.

    Of these four tests, the Oncotype DX test has the most vigorous data supporting its use to make treatment decisions. It is also the only one of these four tests that is included in the NCCN and ASCO treatment guidelines. Because of this more thorough research, the Oncotype DX test is the only one of these tests right now that is widely used to make treatment decisions.
  • The MammaPrint test analyzes 70 genes to see how active they are and then calculates either a high-risk or a low-risk recurrence score. Research suggests the MammaPrint test eventually may be widely used to make treatment decisions based on the recurrence risk of early-stage hormone-receptor-positive or hormone-receptor-negative disease. While the research done on the MammaPrint test so far is promising, more research is needed before the test is widely used to make treatment decisions. The MammaPrint test isn’t included in the NCCN and ASCO treatment guidelines.
  • The Mammostrat test measures the levels of five genes in breast cancer cells. These measurements are used to calculate a risk index score. Women are assigned to a risk category (high, moderate, or low) based on their risk index score. Research suggests the Mammostrat test eventually may be used more to make treatment decisions based on the recurrence risk of early-stage hormone-receptor-positive disease. While the research done on the Mammostrat test so far is promising, more research is needed. The Mammostrat test isn’t included in the NCCN and ASCO treatment guidelines.
  • The Prosigna assay analyzes the activity of 58 genes and calculates a risk of recurrence score (low, intermediate, or high). Research suggests the Prosigna assay eventually may be widely used to make treatment decisions based on the risk of distant recurrence (cancer coming back in a part of the body away from the breast) 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 treatment in postmenopausal women. While research done so far on the Prosigna test is promising, more research is needed before the test is widely used to make treatment decisions. The Prosigna test isn’t included in the NCCN and ASCO treatment guidelines.

All four tests can be done on a sample of preserved tissue that was removed from the breast during the original biopsy or surgery.

Insurance coverage for Mammostrat

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


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