Enhancing clinical decision support with genomic tools in breast cancer: A Scottish perspective

A.l. Peters, P.s. Hall, L.b. Jordan, F.y. Soh, L. Hannington, S. Makaranka, G. Urquhart, M. Vallet, D. Cartwright, H. Marashi, B. Elsberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Oncotype DX Breast RS test has been adopted in Scotland and has been the subject of a large population-based study by a Scottish Consensus Group to assess the uptake of the recurrence score (RS), evaluate co-variates associated with the RS and to analyse the effect it may have had on clinical practice.

Materials & Methods: Pan-Scotland study between August 2018–August 2021 evaluating 833 patients who had a RS test performed as part of their diagnostic pathway. Data was extracted retrospectively from electronic records and analysis conducted to describe change in chemotherapy administration (by direct comparison with conventional risk assessment tools), and univariate/multivariate analysis to assess relationship between covariates and the RS.

Chemotherapy treatment was strongly influenced by the RS (p < 0.001). Only 30 % of patients received chemotherapy treatment in the intermediate and high risk PREDICT groups, where chemotherapy is considered. Additionally, 55.5 % of patients with a high risk PREDICT had a low RS and did not receive chemotherapy. There were 17 % of patients with a low risk PREDICT but high RS who received chemotherapy.
Multivariate regression analysis showed the progesterone receptor Allred score (PR score) to be a strong independent predictor of the RS, with a negative PR score being associated with high RS (OR 4.49, p < 0.001). Increasing grade was also associated with high RS (OR 3.81, p < 0.001). Classic lobular pathology was associated with a low RS in comparison to other tumour pathology (p < 0.01). Nodal disease was associated with a lower RS (p = 0.012) on univariate analysis, with menopausal status (p = 0.43) not influencing the RS on univariate or multivariate analysis.

Genomic assays offer the potential for risk-stratified decision making regarding the use of chemotherapy. They can help reduce unnecessary chemotherapy treatment and identify a subgroup of patients with more adverse genomic tumour biology. A recent publication by Health Improvement Scotland (HIS) has updated guidance on use of the RS test for NHS Scotland [1].It suggests to limit its use to the intermediate risk PREDICT group. Our study shows the impact of the RS test in the low and high risk PREDICT groups. The implementation across Scotland has resulted in a notable shift in practice, leading to a significant reduction in chemotherapy administration in the setting of high risk PREDICT scores returning low risk RS. There has also been utility for the test in the low risk PREDICT group to detect a small subgroup with a high RS.
We have found the PR score to have a strong independent association with high risk RS. This finding was not evaluated by the key RS test papers, and the potential prognostic information provided by the PR score as a surrogate biomarker is an outstanding question that requires more research to validate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103728
JournalThe Breast
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Breast Cancer
  • genomic test
  • recurrence score
  • chemotherapy
  • Progesterone


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