SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

April 05, 2011 15:33 ET

Personalized Medicine Takes on Breast Cancer

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - Personalized medicine and improved diagnostics hold particular promise for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment, where small genetic differences can often impact prognosis and outcomes. Breast cancer is an area where the targeted therapy concept has found real applications and according to healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information's report, "Women's Health Diagnostic Testing Markets," patients are already beginning to benefit from tests that help tailor treatment of the more than 200,000 cases diagnosed annually.

"Even though slightly more than half of the US population is female, medical research historically has neglected the health needs of women, other than reproductive issues," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "That's changing, as campaigns to increase breast cancer awareness have resulted in more funding, which in turn has meant better screening, treatments and survival rates for women."

Meanwhile, the revolution in bioinformatics has allowed scientists to mine genetic information to derive new and hopefully better markers for breast cancer, as well as for cardiac disease, diabetes and autoimmune disorders. This has contributed to advances in immunoassays and nucleic acid tests.

Kalorama notes that today physicians routinely run tests to determine if a patient has human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) positive breast cancer, which is more aggressive but responds better to targeted treatment. HER2-positive patients must undergo a different treatment regimen than those with HER2-negative breast cancer. 

Clarient, which was purchased by GE Healthcare in 2010, launched a tool to aid physicians with prognosis and decision-making in treating breast cancer patients beyond the HER2 question. The Clarient Insight Dx Breast Cancer Profile uses a combination of pathology risk factors and molecular markers to categorize patients with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer as either at high or low risk of recurrence.

"A $500 test to determine if a breast cancer patient will benefit or not from a specific chemotherapy drug seems a small price to pay when treatment that will cost $25,000 to $80,000," says Carlson.

"Women's Health Diagnostic Testing Markets" details and analyzes the current and potential world markets for key diagnostic tests targeted at women's health. Pregnancy and ovulation testing, bone density testing, pap smears, mammography, and ultrasound are among the tests that target female health. This report also reviews the nature and direction of research and trends, and gives insight into some issues facing the industry. It is available at:

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