Breast Cancer


  • Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, with more than 2 million new diagnoses worldwide every year. [1]


  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women in developed countries. [2]  


  • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. [3]



  • A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2 minutes on average. [4]


  • More than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors currently live in the US. [5]        



Following diagnosis and characterisation of the tumour subtype (e.g. hormone receptor and/or HER2 expression), women usually undergo surgery to remove the tumour. For women diagnosed with early stage, hormone receptor-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer (almost half of all new breast cancer diagnoses[4]), the majority are prescribed endocrine (hormonal) therapy in combination with chemotherapy.

The decision to undergo aggressive chemotherapy is not a trivial one, due to its associated side effects, its impact on the patient’s quality of life, and its economic impact (cost of treatment, cost of absence from work etc.). In fact, only approximately 30% of women with early stage breast cancer actually benefit from chemotherapy[6][7]. For the remaining 70%, their cancers would regress without chemotherapy, but they are prescribed the treatment because it is difficult to determine whether they are at risk of cancer recurrence.

Why do we need accurate prognostic assays?

It is important to accurately predict whether or not a patient would benefit from chemotherapy, in order to avoid overtreating women with unnecessary and aggressive chemotherapies. 

To meet these needs, there is a requirement for accurate tests that can stratify patients into those at high risk of cancer recurrence, and those at low risk. Those at low risk of their cancer recurring could safely avoid aggressive treatment, and have confidence in their decision.

OncoMark has developed a superior prognostic test for breast cancer, which will help doctors and patients to confidently decide on the best course of treatment. This test, named OncoMasTR, works by measuring the expression of three specific genes in breast cancer tissue, and rapidly generates a result that clinicians and their patients can use to help decide if chemotherapy is necessary. OncoMasTR Test will help ensure that patients who do not require chemotherapy will not receive it and thus avoid unnecessary treatments and side effects.

[1] Global Cancer Statistics 2020 (

[2] Sung H, Ferlay J, Siegel RL et al. Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA Cancer J Clin 2021;0:1-41. (

[3] American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2021 

[4] National Breast Cancer Foundation (

[5] American Cancer Society (

[6] Fisher, B. et al. Lancet, 2004; 364, 858-868

[7] Goldhirsch, A. et al. Ann Oncol, 2009; 20, 1319‐1329