The Difference Between the PAM50 Assay and Other Molecular Tests

September 6, 2013
Torsten O. Nielsen, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Torsten O. Nielsen discusses the differences between the PAM50 assay and other approved molecular tests for patients with breast cancer.

Torsten O. Nielsen, MD, PhD, FRCPC, a professor of pathology at the University of British Columbia, discusses the differences between the PAM50 assay and other approved molecular tests for patients with breast cancer.

Most molecular tests, Nielsen says, are very specific for the patient sets from which they were derived and the type of treatment that patients receive. PAM50 is different because it is a biological test that identifies the intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer, Nielsen says. The PAM50 assay is likely to provide relevant information in different types of breast cancer and in different treatment settings.

Nielsen says there are currently clinical trials that are comparing PAM50 with other tests and applying PAM50 to other types of specimens.

Clinical Pearls

  • The PAM50 assay was designed around the biology of breast cancer
  • The PAM50 assay identifies the intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer and is likely to provide relevant information about different types of breast cancer and in different treatment settings
  • There are currently clinical trials comparing PAM50 to other tests and to apply PAM50 to other types of specimens.