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Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
Volume 2012, Article ID 728290, 8 pages
Research Article

Psychosocial and Quality of Life in Women Receiving the 21-Gene Recurrence Score Assay: The Impact of Decision Style in Women with Intermediate RS

Department of Oncology, The Fisher Center for Familial Cancer Research, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3300 Whitehaven Street, NW, Suite 4100, Washington, DC 20007, USA

Received 23 March 2012; Revised 7 June 2012; Accepted 12 June 2012

Academic Editor: Colleen M. McBride

Copyright © 2012 Nadiyah Sulayman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Multigene assays such as the 21-gene recurrence score (RS) quantify risk for recurrence and potential benefit from chemotherapy in early-stage, ER+ breast cancers. Few studies have assessed the impact of testing on patient-reported outcomes such as cancer-related distress or quality of life. The few studies that have assessed these outcomes do not consider potential modifiers, such as the patients’ level of involvement in the treatment decision-making process. In the current study, 81 breast cancer patients who received the RS assay completed cross-sectional surveys. We used linear multiple regression to assess whether test result, decision-making role (passive versus shared/active), and their interaction contributed to current levels of distress, quality of life, and decisional conflict. There were no associations between these variables and test result or decision-making role. However, women who received an intermediate RS and took a passive role in their care reported higher-cancer-related distress and cancer worry and lower quality of life than those who took a shared or active role. These data should be confirmed in prospective samples, as these poorer outcomes could be amenable to intervention.