Vhi Healthcare customers will be able to access a new breast cancer diagnostic test it was announced today. Vhi Healthcare has signed an agreement with Genomic Health to provide customers with particular forms of early-stage, invasive breast cancer with access to the Oncotype DX® test, a multi-gene test that has been shown to predict the risk of recurrence and likelihood of chemotherapy benefit. The test helps patients and their doctors to make more informed decisions about their individual treatment.
Speaking at the announcement, Dr Bernadette Carr, Medical Director, Vhi Healthcare stated “We are delighted to provide our customers with access to this cutting edge test. We anticipate that approximately 750 customers annually will avail of the test – 750 customers whose consultants will then receive a much more detailed insight into their tumour biology, allowing for the best possible treatment plan to be designed.”
She continued, “Last year Vhi Healthcare spent over €47.2 million to treat approximately 3,200 customers for breast cancer. Advances in medicine as well as better and earlier detection and treatment of breast cancer in this country have had a huge impact on survival rates amongst patients with this condition in the past ten years. Vhi Healthcare has been at the heart of this provision of care at all stages and today’s announcement underlines the fact that our members can benefit from the latest advances in medical technology and medication, leading to the best possible care.”
Mike Falahee, Genomic Health, Country Manager added, “This is fantastic news for Vhi Healthcare patients and clinicians who can now benefit from more personalised treatment decisions. Multiple studies have shown that the Oncotype DX test changes physician treatment recommendations by about 30 percent, sparing many women from unnecessary chemotherapy and identifying others who may require the treatment but traditionally would not have received it.
“Furthermore, health economic analyses consistently demonstrate the cost effectiveness of Oncotype DX across various healthcare systems in Europe, Asia, Israel and North America, and we are delighted to provide patients, physicians and payors with a tool that enhances cancer care in a cost efficient way.”
Eligible members will be referred for this test by their consultant subject to prior approval by Vhi Healthcare. Cover is provided on all Vhi Healthcare hospital plans.