Fund gene expression profiling for breast cancer - Transform cancer care in Australia

Fund gene expression profiling for breast cancer - Transform cancer care in Australia

3 June 2021
Petition to
The Honorable Greg Hunt MP Minister for Health
Signatures: 17,752Next goal: 25,000
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Tim Clay

I’m a medical oncologist from Perth and I’m calling on the federal government to help Australians access gene expression profiling (GEP) tests and transform early breast cancer healthcare in this country. Every year, more than 20,000 Australians are diagnosed with breast cancer. A large proportion of cancer cases are found in their early stages where treatment leads to a high likelihood of cure.  


65% of women present with hormone receptor positive HER2 negative cancers.  When such cancers can be removed surgically women and their specialist team currently have to choose between hormonal therapy alone, or hormonal therapy and chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy is highly beneficial for some people but comes with the following burdens:

  • Use of precious hospital resources and staffing to deliver treatment
  • The cost to hospitals and our government to supply medications and care
  • The physical and emotional toll of receiving chemotherapy on people and their loved ones
  • The societal burden of people being less able to participate in day-to-day life during treatment


For Australian women treatment outcomes are already excellent.  We know that there are some women who receive chemotherapy but may not get much benefit from it.  We know we can do better in selecting which women truly need chemotherapy.  GEP testing allows us to more accurately predict who will do well with just hormonal therapy, and who really benefits from the addition of chemotherapy.  GEP testing helps women and their specialist make the best choice for each individual in their care.  This spares many from the rigours of chemotherapy while supporting the few who truly benefit to accept the need for such treatment.


Tests like Oncotype Dx, Mammaprint, Prosigna and Endopredict have been available for over a decade.  Years of scientific and clinical research have gone into the development of these tests.  Government funding exists in comparable health systems in the United Kingdom and Canada.


Currently, there is no Medicare rebate for these tests. A patient who can afford to self-fund a GEP test is currently spending thousands of dollars out of their own pocket.  The high costs make these tests inaccessible for many Australians.  The companies behind these tests have submitted to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) many times to have their tests funded. Patients and their doctors do not understand why these valuable tests are remain unfunded in Australia. 


Minister Hunt - it is time to fund Gene Expression Profiling tests for Australians with early breast cancer. Please sign and share this petition to support my calls.


You can read about Gene Expression Profiling in breast cancer here. 

This petition is not affiliated with BCNA

Support now
Signatures: 17,752Next goal: 25,000
Support now