In 2007, the American Cancer Society estimated that approximately 178,460 new cases of breast cancer would be diagnosed and 40,460 women would die from the disease. Nearly half of the new cases were expected to be categorized as node-negative, estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive. Although the benefit of ER blockade in combination with chemotherapy has been demonstrated in women with node-negative, ER-positive tumors, low distant recurrence rates with ER blocker monotherapy suggest that chemotherapy may provide minimal benefit in most cases. Molecular diagnostics represent a paradigm shift in breast cancer management, allowing treatment decisions to be based on the genetic profile, or signature, of an individual tumor. Alan H. Heaton, PharmD, RPh; David Hyams, MD; Jill M. Kolesar, PharmD, BCPS, FCCP; and Winston Wong, PharmD discuss the innovative gene expression profiling tools that can help to determine the aggressiveness and prognosis of the cancer, and to predict the likely benefit from a specific treatment.
This supplement is based on a satellite symposium held at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 20th Annual Meeting & Showcase in San Francisco on April 17, 2008.