The Impact of the Oncotype DX Breast Cancer Assay on Treatment Decisions for Women With Estrogen Receptor-Positive, Node-Negative Breast Carcinoma in Hong Kong

Clin Breast Cancer. 2016 Oct;16(5):372-378. doi: 10.1016/j.clbc.2016.03.002. Epub 2016 Mar 17.


Background: The Oncotype DX Breast Cancer Assay is validated to assess risk of distant recurrence and likelihood of chemotherapy (CT) benefit in estrogen receptor-positive ESBC in various populations. In Hong Kong, > 80% of breast cancers are early stage breast cancer (ESBC) and > 60% of these women receive CT. This prospective study measured changes in CT type and recommendations, as well as physician impression of assay impact in a homogenous Chinese population.

Methods: Consecutive patients with estrogen receptor-positive, T1-3 N0-1mi M0 ESBC were offered enrollment. After surgery, physicians discussed treatment options with patients, then ordered the assay, then reassessed treatment recommendation considering assay results. Changes in treatment recommendation, CT utilization, physician confidence, and physician rating of influence on their treatment recommendations were measured.

Results: A total of 146 evaluable patients received pre- and post-testing treatment recommendations. CT recommendations (including changes in intensity of CT) were changed for 34 of 146 patients (23.3%; 95% confidence interval, 16.7%-31.0%); change in intensity occurred in 7 of 146 (4.8%). There were 27 changes in treatment recommendations of adding or removing CT altogether (18.5% change; 95% confidence interval, 12.6%-25.8%). CT recommendations decreased from 52.1% to 37.7%, a net absolute reduction of 14.4% (P < .001; 27.6% net relative reduction). Pre-assay, 96% of physicians agreed/strongly agreed that they were confident in their treatment recommendation; post-assay, 90% of physicians agreed/strongly agreed with the same statement. Thirty percent of physicians agreed/strongly agreed that the test had influenced their recommendation, similar to the proportion of changed recommendations.

Conclusions: The Oncotype DX Assay appears to influence physician ESBC adjuvant treatment recommendations in Hong Kong.

Keywords: Adjuvant drug therapy; Decision support techniques; Molecular diagnostic techniques; Neoplasms; Risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / statistics & numerical data
  • Clinical Decision-Making / methods*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Receptors, Estrogen