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Medical News and Perspectives
June 23/30, 2004

Breast Cancer Gene Chip Study Under Way

JAMA. 2004;291(24):2927-2930. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2927

A crystal ball—now that is a tool oncologists would embrace. How many times have they advised patients to undergo chemotherapy, radiation, or both, knowing full well that at the end of treatment, these patients will likely have to wait years before knowing if they have truly beaten the disease?

The search for prognostic and predictive markers of treatment outcomes has been an ongoing effort for decades. "We all want to have a golden hit—the one and only factor that tells you whether the patient is likely to go on to die or likely to survive," said Emiel Rutgers, MD, a breast surgeon at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, in Amsterdam. "But it's never happened because cancer is a multifactorial thing," he added.

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