IRVINE, Calif., May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half of women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer may not benefit from chemotherapy and still have excellent outcomes. To educate women, Agendia, Inc. has announced the launch of one of the largest sources of online consumer information about breast cancer genomic tests. The new website and interactive Facebook page provide recently diagnosed women with information sources, to help them determine if they can safely avoid chemotherapy.
"We anticipate these innovative social media campaigns will encourage more patients to ask their oncologists and breast surgeons about our Symphony genomic test panel," said David Macdonald, Agendia's Chief Executive Officer. "Women who have been told they have early stage breast cancer often face a tough decision regarding whether or not they should have chemotherapy after surgery. They are looking for current, easily understood information to support their decision. As many women have already told us, the new website and Facebook page achieve that important goal."
The website (www.KnowYourBreastCancer.com) provides information in layperson terms about the unique nature of each breast cancer tumor, and how genomic testing, with a test panel such as the Symphony suite from Agendia, can help improve diagnosis and treatment.
The new Facebook page marks the launch of the Symphony Sisterhood, with online information and support for women who have early stage breast cancer. The page, at www.Facebook.com/SymphonySisterhood uses Facebook interactivity, which has allowed women to post their breast cancer stories, learning from others who have benefited from genomic testing and made educated decisions on whether to undergo various treatments. Links and more information are also available via Twitter at www.Twitter.com/SymphonySister.
Here's what a few women from the Symphony Sisterhood Facebook page have to say about this new site:
Vicki Waddill: "I am excited about the information this website has provided and look forward to keeping updated on new discoveries in the fight against breast cancer. All women need to be aware of this site!"
Marie Miano: "The test is definitely a good thing. My chemo was originally going to be only 2 drugs, but the test showed my cancer was aggressive even though it was not in my lymph nodes so my oncologist decided on a 3-drug treatment. I would recommend the test to anyone, in order to help them and their doctors as to what type of treatment they should have."
Debbie Warren: "I support all the testing! The more you know about your own body, the better treatments you're going to have and tailored to just you!"
"Online resources can be of significant value to patients. My colleagues and I often encourage patients to review information that's available online from reliable sources such as this one," said Beth B. DuPree, MD, FACS, ABIHM a noted Philadelphia breast surgeon and medical director of the breast health program of the Holy Redeemer Health System. "It's very helpful for newly diagnosed women with breast cancer to learn more about the role that genomic testing can play in refining their diagnosis and treatment."
"Too many women diagnosed with breast cancer assume that undergoing chemotherapy is the reality of their condition," said Agendia's David Macdonald. "Our company's goal is to empower these patients to educate themselves and to ask for powerful tools at their disposal, like the Symphony suite of tests, to determine if they actually need to undergo these often debilitating and costly treatments. We believe that ultimately the extension of that knowledge via social media educational resources will spare thousands of women the unnecessary toxic effects of chemotherapy, and will spare society the burden of administering ineffective treatments"
Genomic testing looks at the activity of groups of genes within tumor tissue to provide a more comprehensive view of the specific cancer. Agendia's MammaPrint® genomic test (part of the Symphony panel of tests) can, for example, determine if a woman with early stage breast cancer is definitively at low risk or high risk of recurrence. According to the recently published RASTER study, 97% of women identified as low risk by MammaPrint® and who chose not to have chemotherapy were disease-free at five years.
Agendia is a leading molecular diagnostic company that develops and markets paraffin-based (FFPE) genomic diagnostic products. Agendia's breast cancer Symphony suite was developed using unbiased gene selection, analyzing the complete human genome, ensuring 100% definitive results for cancer patients. Together, the Symphony tests help physicians determine a patient's individual risk for metastasis, which patients will benefit from chemo, hormonal or combination therapy, and which patients can instead be treated with less arduous and less costly methods. www.agendia.com