Molecular test algorithms for breast tumours

BJMO - volume 13, issue 2, march 2019

A. Hébrant PhD, K. Punie MD, PhD, F.P. Duhoux MD, PhD, C. Colpaert MD, PhD, G. Floris MD, PhD, K. Lambein MD, PhD, P. Neven MD, PhD, M. Berlière MD, PhD, R. Salgado MD, PhD, M. Chintinne MD, PhD, K. Dahan MD, PhD, S. Dedeurwaerdere MD, J. De Grève MD, PhD, A. de Leener MD, PhD, H. Denys MD, PhD, R. de Putter MD, PhD, L. Desmyter PhD, M. Baldewijns MD, PhD, D. Feret MD, C. Fontaine MD, C. Galant MD, PhD, P. Hilbert PhD, J. Janssens MD, PhD, D. Larsimont MD, PhD, P. Lefesvre MD, PhD, T. Sticca PhD, M-D. Tkint de Roodenbeke MD, G. Van Den Eynden MD, PhD, I. Vanden Bempt PhD, C. Van den Broecke MD, I. Vandernoot MD, C. Sotiriou MD, PhD, J. van Dorpe MD, PhD, H.A. Poirel MD, PhD, E. Van Valckenborgh PhD, G. Raicevic PhD, M. Van den Bulcke PhD, P. Aftimos MD


In order to advise the Federal Government on all matters related to personalised medicine in oncology, including the reimbursement of molecular tests, the Commission of Personalized Medicine (ComPerMed) has applied, for the breast tumours, the same methodology as previously applied for the digestive tumours. Meaning, the different molecular tests, represented in the shape of algorithms, are annotated with test levels — which aim to reflect their relevance based on current available data and to define the reimbursement — and are documented with recent literature, guidelines and a brief technical description.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2019;13(2):40–45)

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O.05 Clinical significance of CD73 expression in triple-negative breast cancer from the BIG 02-98 adjuvant phase III clinical trial

BJMO - 2017, issue 3, february 2017

L. Buisseret MD, S. Pommey , B. Allard , S. Garaud , M-A. Bergeron , I. Cousineau , L. Ameye , G. Chouinard , H. Duvillier , M. Paesmans , M.J. Piccart-Gebhart MD, K. Willard-Gallo , C. Sotiriou MD, PhD, J. Stagg

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State of the art: gene expression profiles in early breast cancer

BJMO - volume 10, issue 4, july 2016

K. Van Asten MSc, P. Neven MD, PhD, G. Floris MD, PhD, R. Salgado MD, PhD, C. Sotiriou MD, PhD, H. Wildiers MD, PhD


Gene expression profiles provide strong prognostic information and can predict breast cancer outcome mainly in women with lymph node-negative, oestrogen receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative breast cancer. They are primarily designed to enable a more precise assessment on whether or not a patient needs adjuvant chemotherapy. However, the optimal use in clinical practice is still not established. The first set of data published from the TAILORx study and the results from the MINDACT study provide strong evidence for the clinical utility of gene expression profiles. Full disclosure of the results of prospective studies such as MINDACT and TAILORx on this topic is awaited in order to define their exact place in clinical decision-making. However, in several countries, these tests are already used in daily clinical practice, and are reimbursed. In addition, the use of gene expression profiles as a potential ancillary tool for treatment decisions is supported in several international treatment guidelines. Multiple studies have shown that there is a change in treatment decision based on gene expression profiles. In addition, different assays may provide different risk stratification at short-, middle- and long-term, so thoughtful use of these tests is recommended. Patients should be well informed about the benefits, risks, costs and uncertainties associated with these tests. Clinicians should also be educated on these matters. Furthermore, as gene expression profiles are expensive and not reimbursed in many countries, these tests are not accessible to all breast cancer patients. Patients’ preferences are important when making risk assessments and treatment decisions in those cases where there is doubt on the benefit of giving adjuvant chemotherapy. Taken together, gene expression profiles provide information that may be complementary to that provided by standard clinicopathological assessment in guiding decision of therapy in the adjuvant setting. These assays represent a step forward towards personalised medicine. We strongly propose to allow reimbursement of gene expression profiles in Belgium, but pragmatic and clear criteria for reimbursement should be developed with all stakeholders to avoid overconsumption.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2016;10(4):114–122)

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