What is Oncotype Dx?
The prostate cancer is the most frequent tumor among male population, but its behavior varies between individuals. There are patients with very low-risk tumors with indolent evolution, while others have very aggressive tumors with rapid growth and high mortality rate. The latter require a radical early treatment trying to slow the progression of the disease. The former can be monitored conservatively by way of a protocol of active surveillance, avoiding complications and side effects of a radical treatment.
However, the distinction between different tumor lineages is not always obvious and sometimes the microscopic examination of the prostate biopsy underestimate the aggressiveness of the tumor. That is the reason why a precise diagnosis is essential to distinguish which patients will benefit of one treatment or another.
Oncotype Dx is a complementary tool to the prostate biopsy that allows to measure de aggressiveness of the cancer through a genetic test of tumor tissue.
How is the test performed?
Once the prostate biopsy has been performed, the sample is processed and a panel of 17 genes involved in the aggressiveness of the prostate cancer is analyzed. The result is the “Genomic Prostate Score” (GPS), ranging from 0-100 that corresponds to the aggressiveness of the tumor. This GPS result can help your doctor, along with other clinical data, makes decisions about a management plan that is best for you.
What is the process about?
The first step is a digital rectal exam (DRE) that will allow to check the prostate looking for suspicious areas. The following step is collecting a urine sample to analyze a group of genes involved in the development of prostate cancer.
Who are the elegible patients?
Oncotype Dx is for patients been diagnosed, after having a biopsy, with a very low-risk, low-risk or intermediate risk tumor (GS 3+3 and 3+4 in clinical terms).
What are the advantages?
The main advantage of Oncotype Dx is to define more precisely which patients really present a low-risk tumor. This allows a management plan via active surveillance protocol, thus preventing aggressive treatments like surgery or radiation, as well as its complications (like erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinency).