A survey consisting of 37 discordant patient cases from the MINDACT trial (T1-3N0-1M0) was sent to European breast cancer specialists for assessment of risk (high or low) and chemotherapy administration (yes or no). In 2015 the survey was sent twice (survey 1 and 2), several weeks apart, and in 2021 a third time (survey 3). Only the second and third surveys included the 70-gene signature result.
There is a variability in risk assessment of early breast cancer patients among breast cancer specialists. The 70-gene signature provided valuable information, resulting in fewer patients being assessed as high risk and fewer recommendations for chemotherapy, increasing over time.
41 breast cancer specialists participated in all three surveys. Overall agreement between respondents decreased slightly between survey 1 and 2, but increased again in survey 3. Over time there was an increase in agreement with the 70-gene signature result on risk assessment, 23% in survey 2 versus 1 and 11% in survey 3 versus 2. With information available indicating a low risk 70-gene signature (n = 25 cases), 20% of risk assessments changed from high to low and 19% of recommendations changed from yes to no chemotherapy in survey 2 versus 1, further increasing with 18% and 21%, respectively, in survey 3 versus 2.
Tailored recommendation for adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients is of great importance. This survey assessed agreement among oncologists on risk assessment and chemotherapy recommendation, the impact of adding the 70-gene signature to clinical-pathological characteristics, and changes over time.