Health insurance companies should pay for the Biomarker Test for breast cancer

Patients with early-stage breast cancer in the future will be expected to be the cost of a Biomarker Test of the statutory health insurance funds refunded. This decision has been taken by the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) on Thursday.

The Test is designed to make it easier in the case of unclear cases, the decision whether a chemotherapy is useful or not. He is out of the question in Germany, an estimated 20,000 women per year. For comparison: each Year, about 70,000 women are diagnosed at an early Form of breast cancer, when the Tumor is limited to a specific area of the breast and no metastasis.

The decision relates exclusively to the Biomarker Test’s Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score, which examined in a tissue sample the activity of 21 genes in the cancer cells and the risk for a return of the tumor is derived. A prerequisite is that the Tumor has certain characteristics: It needs to be sensitive to hormones such as Estrogen and progesterone, but must be no Docking sites for growth factors. This breast cancer-the Form of the risk for a relapse can often be particularly difficult to assess.

SURGERY, radiation and then Chemo?

Before patients benefit from the decision, must be examined in the decision, however, by the Federal Ministry of health. In addition, a Committee must specify the amount of the medical remuneration. This is expected to take several months.

Women suffer from an early Form of breast cancer that can be removed, the Tumor is often completely. Often is additionally irradiated. Nevertheless, it is possible that cancer cells remain undetected in the body and years later a Tumor cause. Chemotherapy can reduce this risk by about a third, but carries the risk of significant side effects.

In General, the risk for relapse is determined on the Basis of various criteria, including the size of the tumor, its growth rate and the age of the patient. Only if there is no safe decision for or against chemotherapy derive leave, come the Test in question, writes the G-BA.

The’s Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score Test is available in Germany since 2009, the costs amount to about 3000 euros per piece. In other countries, such as Spain, the UK and France, the cost will be refunded for quite some time.

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