“When I helped to develop a novel genomic test for predicting risk in newly diagnosed patients with prostate cancer, I had no idea that I would need the test myself. Without the information provided by the test, I might have delayed my treatment, and my disease would likely have gotten worse. Fortunately, my GPS result led me to seek immediate treatment and I am doing well today.”
As the clinical lead for the Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score® (GPS™) test at Genomic Health from 2012 to 2016, Jeff L. was very familiar with the value of the test in predicting risk in newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients and guiding key treatment decisions. But he did not imagine he would be a prostate cancer patient himself who benefited from the results of the Oncotype DX® GPS.
“Thankfully, my GPS result led me to seek immediate treatment and I am doing well today.”
Jeff had been getting regular PSA tests since age 50, but in 2017 his PSA levels began to rise. His urologist, a colleague who had been involved in a clinical validation study of the GPS test, recommended a prostate biopsy. The biopsy results revealed a small amount of Gleason Score 3+4 prostate cancer, and thus Jeff appeared to have clinically favorable intermediate risk disease. Given this level of clinical risk, Jeff knew that he was a candidate for active surveillance rather than immediate surgery or radiation but wanted to have the Oncotype DX test performed on his biopsy tissue to better understand his true biological risk. The GPS result was elevated – 45 – which meant that Jeff was probably harboring higher risk cancer than was shown by the conventional pathologic assessment of his prostate biopsy and he should have immediate treatment.
Jeff underwent a robotic radical prostatectomy in July 2017, which revealed higher Gleason grade (4+3) disease, and more importantly, a positive local lymph node, meaning that he in fact had high-risk prostate cancer. After receiving post-operative radiation therapy and 18 months of androgen deprivation therapy, Jeff soon returned to the activities he loves, including traveling, hiking, cooking and spending time with his grandchildren, and his PSA levels have been undetectable ever since his surgery.
“The purpose of the GPS test is to ensure that each patient gets the right treatment for his individual disease. In my case, it kept me from making the wrong decision to pursue active surveillance. Without the information provided by the test, I might have delayed my treatment, and my cancer would likely have progressed to metastatic disease. The test worked for me exactly as it was supposed to.”
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