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New breast cancer prognosis test in use: "fingerprint" of the tumour allows accurate prognosis

(Vienna, 11-08-2011) A molecular diagnostic test for breast cancer patients, developed by the ABCSG study group, led by Michael Gnant and Martin Filipits from the Medical University of Vienna, is now ready for practical application. The test, which delivers a gene expression profile, which is characteristic for a tumour in the same way as fingerprints are characteristic for people, facilitates an extremely accurate prognosis on the course of the disease. The "Endopredict test" is now being used as part of an international co-operation agreement at the Charité University of Medicine in Berlin.

ABCSG President Michael Gnant, from the University Clinic of Surgery, and Martin Filipits from the Institute of Cancer Research at the MedUni within the General Hospital Vienna, demonstrated through a study involving more than 1,700 patients with breast cancer that, following the "Endopredict test", very clear conclusions can be drawn regarding the specific properties of the tumour - and therefore also conclusions regarding the disease's future progression. In clinical trials, it was possible to identify a large sub-group of patients with an excellent prognosis. This group was treated effectively with anti-hormone therapy, thereby avoiding the use of chemotherapy.

Scientists at the Institute of Pathology at the Charité, led by Manfred Dietel and Carsten Denkert, also appeared confident that the breast cancer prognosis test, which has now undergone clinical testing, will be able to contribute towards an optimisation in the treatment of many breast cancer patients.

The results of the study have now also been published in the online edition of the specialist journal "Clinical Cancer Research". Filipits et al., Clin. Cancer Res.: