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New test may help predict recurrence of breast cancer

December 31, 1997
Web posted at: 7:44 p.m. EST (0044 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first genetic test designed to help predict the recurrence of breast cancer, a Maryland biotech company announced Wednesday.

Officials with Oncor Inc. said the test, called INFORM, uses a sample of breast cancer tissue to identify the presence or absence of additional copies of a particular gene.

The test could be helpful to doctors and women trying to decide the best course of treatment at the time of an original cancer diagnosis. If the test is positive, a woman might opt for a more aggressive form of treatment to decrease the likelihood of recurrence.

An FDA official familiar with the test told CNN it was an exciting development in the treatment of breast cancer but emphasized that the test should not be the sole predictor of a patient's outcome. It is to be used in conjunction with other tests, he said.


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