Two-Gene Prognostic Predictor for Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, the risk of a woman developing invasive breast cancer during her life is about 1 in 8. Tailored treatment based on genetic signatures will reduce the use of toxic chemotherapies of questionable additional value.

Patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer can be treated with tamoxifen, which improves survival. However, it is currently unclear which patients with ER+ breast cancer benefit from further adjuvant chemotherapies, which are often highly toxic. This Two-Gene Prognostic Predictor for Breast Cancer solves this problem by identifying patients likely to achieve long-term survival with tamoxifen alone, thus sparing these patients from unnecessary toxicities.

Invention Summary

Researchers have developed an assay based on two genes that can accurately risk stratify patients. The assay identifies ER+ breast cancer patients who have a high likelihood of long-term survival with tamoxifen treatment alone. Stratification can guide therapeutic decisions, sparing patients from toxic adjuvant chemotherapies when they may provide minimal additional benefits.


  • The assay can predict metastasis-free survival even in lymph node positive patients, unlike Mammaprint and Oncotype Dx.
  • The assay is independent of other outcome predictors, including tumor size, grade and age.
  • Survival rate predicted by only two genes is comparable to that of other assays requiring assessment of 21 genes (Oncotype Dx) or even 70 genes (Mammaprint).

Application Fields

  • The assay has widespread commercial application as a prognostic indicator and predictor for the treatment of breast cancer.


  • Lance Miller, PhD
  • Suzy Torti, PhD (University of Connecticut)
  • Frank Torti, MD, MPH (University of Connecticut)


U.S. Patent Application No. 13/500,957
European Patent Application No. 10822794
U.S. Patent Application No. 13/571,854


Sci Transl Med 4 Aug 2010; Vol. 2, Issue 43, p.43
Cancer Res 2011;71:6728-6737

Licensing Contact

Dean Stell
Associate Director, Industry Relations & Business Development

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