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Genomic Health Gains After Study Shows Cancer Test Benefit

Genomic Health Inc., maker of a genetic test for breast cancer, rose to its highest level in six years after a study showed the test can help predict which women with small tumors will see their disease worsen.

Genomic Health gained 1.9 percent to $29.01 at the close in New York, the highest price since the Redwood City, California-based company first sold shares in September 2005. The stock has gained 40 percent in the past 12 months.

The product, already sold to evaluate more-advanced tumors, will be available for women with small tumors on Dec. 28, the company said. The study, presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, identified women with fast-growing forms of ductal carcinoma in situ who may need aggressive treatment, said Lawrence Solin, chair of radiation oncology at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Almost 45,000 women are diagnosed each year with ductal carcinoma in situ, typically a small tumor contained in the milk ducts. Most women get a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous cells, and the disease returns in about 20 percent to 25 percent of women. Until now, there was no way to identify which patients were most at risk.

The test “will help physicians understand the underlying biology of DCIS for an individual patient and accurately gauge the risk for that person,” Solin said. “As a result, the patient and physician can decide on the appropriate course of treatment based on a more complete understanding of the risk involved.”

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