The MammaPrint test was just approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). MammaPrint analyzes the genes in an early breast cancer and then predicts whether the cancer has a low or high risk of coming back. The research results indicate that MammaPrint is pretty accurate.
The MammaPrint test will help women and their doctors make decisions about whether chemotherapy should be part of breast cancer treatment. Chemotherapy is often given to women with early breast cancer to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. Sometimes it's clear from the biopsy results that chemotherapy will be beneficial. But some women who have a low risk of recurrence may not benefit as much from chemotherapy. The MammaPrint test could help women and their doctors make the chemotherapy decision.
It will take some time for doctors to really understand how to use and interpret the results of MammaPrint. Especially as it relates to chemotherapy decisions. The FDA approval was based on research involving a relatively small number of women. breastcancer.org will be monitoring the use of MammaPrint and will provide updates on the results.
MammaPrint CAN'T be used with women who have already been treated for early breast cancer. MammaPrint must be performed on a fresh breast cancer biopsy specimen.