The Cancer Genetics blog has a post on the approval of Veridex's new RT-PCR test for breast cancer spread.
What was emphasized in the Globe article which is striking is that this test can potentially be performed while the patient is still on the operating table, avoiding a delay between screening test & initiating follow-up testing. If this holds true, then this is an example of molecular diagnostics really having a big impact in a major health problem. As with any diagnostic test, the key question is specificity & sensitivity aka false positives and false negatives. The key study had 300ish patients in it, which is just a small puddle compared to the ocean of breast cancer patients.
Veridex, which is owned by J&J, has some other cool technologies cooking, including some to sift tiny numbers of cancer cells from the bloodstream, cells which have escaped from the primary tumor or metastases. Since getting clinical samples can be a serious challenge, this technology is pretty amazing.