Breast Cancer Tests Betray 'Precision Medicine' Branding

February 3, 2015 3:49 PM

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Breast Cancer Tests Betray 'Precision Medicine' Branding

Yes, President Obama’s new $215 million Precision Medicine Initiative supports important science, but it also bolsters biotech branding in a way the science doesn’t always support.

To understand why clinical genomics (a more neutral descriptor) isn’t quite as reliably precise as backers like to boast, consider three tests meant to determine whether a certain type of breast cancer will recur. The tests can help avoid the physical and emotional costs of unneeded chemotherapy.

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