BRITISH COLUMBIA
04/22/2014 07:47 EDT | Updated 06/22/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C. latest province to fund special breast cancer treatment test

VANCOUVER - B.C. has become the latest province to fund a test that can help determine whether patients with a certain type of early stage breast cancer could benefit from chemotherapy.

California-based Genomic Health says the BC Cancer Agency has agreed to fund the company's Oncotype DX test.

The test, which costs US$4,300, examines genes within breast cancer tumours to predict which patients would benefit from chemotherapy.

Conversely, the test is also used to predict which patients would see little or no benefit from chemotherapy.

The funding applies to patients that meet a list of criteria, including that they have early stage, node-negative, estrogen receptor-positive invasive breast cancer.

The test is already funded by provincial governments in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador.