News | December 14, 2006

Quest Launches Test to Predict Breast Cancer Recurrence

Quest Diagnostics Inc. has introduced its newly developed test, the Breast Cancer Gene Expression Ratio, to help physicians predict the risk of disease recurrence in women with estrogen receptor-positive, lymph node-negative breast cancer. Quest Diagnostics is the first company to develop a breast cancer recurrence test based on licensed gene-expression profiling technology from AviaraDx Inc., a molecular cancer profiling company.

The Breast Cancer Gene Expression Ratio is based on the homeobox gene-B13 (HOXB13) and the interleukin-17B receptor gene (IL17BR). In breast cancers that are more likely to recur, the HOXB13 gene tends to be over-expressed, while the IL-17BR gene tends to be under-expressed. In an 852-patient retrospective study published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the HOXB13:IL17BR ratio (H:I expression ratio) independently predicted breast cancer recurrence in patients with ER-positive, lymph-node negative cancer. The H:I expression ratio was found to be predictive in patients who received tamoxifen therapy as well as in those who did not.

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