Breast cancer can be difficult to diagnose in women with dense breasts, but a blood test can effectively rule out cancer in those patients 99 percent of the time, avoiding painful biopsies to analyze suspicious tissue.
The Videssa® Breast blood test is a multi-protein biomarker test for breast cancer. It is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue. Almost half of all American women have dense breast tissue.
Breast imaging, such as mammograms, have limitations. For instance, benign breast diseases can appear as cancer, resulting in false positives, and breast density can obscure cancer, causing false negative results which can be deadly.
"Women who have dense breasts are at a double disadvantage," said Judith K. Wolf, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Provista Diagnostics, Inc. "Not only are they at higher risk of developing breast cancer, but dense breast tissue can decrease the reliability of imaging and increase the chances of a false finding."
The study evaluated the performance of Videssa Breast among 545 women, ages 25 to 50, with abnormal or difficult-to-interpret imaging. It found that in women with dense breast tissue who had gotten negative results, the blood test was 99.1 percent accurate in confirming the patient did not have breast cancer.
A study published earlier this year in Clinical Breast Cancer found that using Videssa Breast as a diagnostic complement to imaging for women with abnormal findings could potentially reduce use of biopsy by up to 67 percent.
"Using biomarkers for cancer detection is an important advance in managing women with dense breasts and navigating many diagnostic challenges. As a clinician, the ability to identify who will benefit most from further imaging and follow-up, and rule out breast cancer in women, when they receive suspicious findings, is tremendous," says researcher Elayne Arterbery, M.D., radiation oncologist at St. Mary's of Saginaw.
The new study was published in PLOS ONE. "This study shows that, with an over 99 percent negative predictive value (NPV), clinicians can confidently use Videssa Breast to detect cancer in women with dense breasts and better determine when biopsy is truly warranted to assess suspicious findings," said Wolf.
According to the Susan G. Komen organization, women with dense breasts are four to five times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with low breast density.
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