Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score

Interpreting the Results

Genomic Health makes understanding Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test results as easy as possible. A detailed Breast Recurrence Score report is generated for each patient. The report contains the Recurrence Score result—a number between 0-100—that assesses the 10-year risk of distant recurrence1 in node-negative patients, 5-year distant recurrence or mortality in node-positive3 patients and the likelihood that chemotherapy will benefit your patient.2, 4

Interactive Report Guide

A quick and intuitive explanation of what to look for in each Breast Recurrence Score report.

About the report

Most results are available on the physician portal within two weeks after tumor sample arrives in the Genomic Health laboratory. The report is generated according to your patient’s nodal status:

Each report includes:

  • The Recurrence Score result
  • 10-year risk of distant recurrence for node-negative; 5-year risk of recurrence or mortality for node-positive.
  • Likelihood of chemotherapy benefit.
  • Quantitative ER, PR, and HER2 scores by RT-PCR.

Understanding Recurrence Score results

The central piece of the report is the Recurrence Score result- a number between 0-100 – which provides insight into the tumor biology. The Recurrence Score result provides an estimated risk of distant recurrence (10-year for node-negative patients and 5-year risk of recurrence or mortality for node-positive patients)1, 3 and is also associated with the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit.2, 4 A low score means a lower rate of distant recurrence and a smaller benefit from chemotherapy. A high score means a higher rate of distant recurrence and a larger benefit from chemotherapy.

Recurrence Score results can be interpreted using the following:

  • Recurrence Score result less than 18: Your patient has a lower risk of having a recurrence, assuming 5 years of hormonal therapy is given. Chemotherapy is likely to have little or no benefit.
  • Recurrence Score result between 18 and 30: Your patient has a tumor that is in the middle of the risk spectrum reflecting that biology is continuous and not all patients have a low or a high recurrence risk, assuming 5 years of hormonal therapy is given. The likelihood of distant recurrence and benefit from chemotherapy increases with an increase in the Recurrence Score result.
  • Recurrence Score result greater than or equal to 31: Your patient has a high risk of distant recurrence, assuming 5 years of hormonal therapy and is likely to benefit from chemotherapy.

This individualized numeric score makes it easier for patients to understand their level of distant recurrence risk and potential benefit from chemotherapy. As a result, discussing treatment options with your patients can be easier and more efficient, with your patients feeling more confident about their treatment decisions.

The relevance of the ER score

The quantitative ER score by RT-PCR has been shown to be a strong predictor of tamoxifen benefit5 in node-negative patients. While the Recurrence Score result and corresponding average rate of distant recurrence accounts for this effect of tamoxifen (in addition to the tumor’s fundamental prognosis), the single-gene ER score may also help clarify the magnitude of tamoxifen benefit.

How your patient’s score is generated

The Breast Recurrence Score test is a genomic test—that measures the expression of cancer-related genes in your patient’s tumor. Your patient’s score is based on the expression of 21 specific genes from tumor tissue removed during the surgery or core biopsy. Looking at the expression of this unique set of genes the score provides important information about how likely your patient’s cancer is to return and the likelihood of benefit from chemotherapy. Learn more about how the test works.

Getting the results

Most Recurrence Score results are available within two weeks from the date the specimen is received in the Genomic Health lab. You can access the results through the online physician portal or receive the report by fax.


1. Paik et al. N Engl J Med. 2004.
2. Paik et al. J Clin Oncol. 2006.
3. Dowsett et al. J Clin Oncol. 2010.
4. Albain et al. Lancet Oncol. 2010.
5. Kim et al. J Clin Oncol. 2010.

Patient Video:
What to Expect


Use this video to help your patients understand why you've ordered them the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test.

Patient Video:
Understanding Your Results


This video helps your patients prepare before coming in to discuss their results with you.

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