Friday, May 15, 2009
A new cancer study finds promise in a test that can help predict the chance that colon cancer patients will have a recurrence.
The experimental gene test is similar to one already in wide use for predicting the risk in breast cancer patients. Unlike that test, the colon test can't say whether an at-risk patient would benefit from chemotherapy.
Doctors are also in a quandary over whether it's useful enough to justify the cost, which could be around $4,000.
The gene test was developed by California-based Genomic Health and can give a patient odds of a recurrence ranging from about 10% to 25%. One cancer specialist says that's not much, but does give a patient one more bit of information for a decision on whether to have chemo.