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Test could predict relapse chance

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February 8, 2007

Albany - A new gene test for women who are in the early stages of breast cancer could predict if they will have a relapse. It's called the MammaPrint test.

The test could affect how aggressively those women will fight the initial tumor, and is 95% accurate if a woman is told she's at a low risk for relapse.

Dr. Jose Tongol, an oncologist at Phoebe's Cancer Center says genetic testing is commonplace and helps determine what type of treatment a patient needs. We are targeting cancer now.  He says, "Our treatment is targeted. We individualize to the person. If you come to me right now I do a lot of genetic marking testing for you. We have this one available at Phoebe and then we tell you the treatment for your genetic marking."

More than 178,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. More than 100,000 will be in early stages and have a good prognosis because the tumors are small and haven't spread.

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