BCNA News 16 Apr 2019
Important information regarding MammaPrint gene profile test
BCNA has received advice that the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), the independent authority responsible for making recommendations to the Australian Government on new tests and treatments to be covered by Medicare, has made a recommendation that the MammaPrint gene profile test not be listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
MSAC based its decision on its analysis of the MINDACT clinical trial. MSAC found that the trial results showed that breast cancer outcomes were poorer in women who did not have chemotherapy based on the results of a MammaPrint test, compared with those who did have chemotherapy treatment.
MSAC said it had little confidence that MammaPrint could be used to justify avoiding chemotherapy without negatively impacting on women’s outcomes, including overall survival.
If you have had a MammaPrint test and made a decision not to have chemotherapy based on the results, we encourage you to discuss this with your breast cancer specialist. You may like to print out the information from the Cancer Australia website (link below) to take to the appointment.
There are currently a number of other gene profile tests available in Australia, including Oncotype DX, Prosigna and EndoPredict. All of them are currently being considered by MSAC. MSAC’s decision not to recommend the MammaPrint test does not necessarily mean that it will reach the same conclusion for these tests.
If you have had a gene profile test, sometimes also referred to as a genomic test, to help you decide whether or not chemotherapy may benefit you and you don’t know which of the tests you had, you can contact your breast cancer specialist to ask this and discuss any treatment decision you made based on the results of the test.
There is more detailed information available on the Cancer Australia website.
What is the Mammaprint test?
MammaPrint is a gene profile test (a genomic test of breast cancer tumour cells). It examines 70 different genes to look for changes associated with a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence after treatment. The aim of the MammaPrint test is to help inform decisions about whether to use chemotherapy after local treatment for early breast cancer.