Assessing the clinical impact of prognostic factors: When is “statistically significant” clinically useful?
Very few tumor markers have been recommended for routine clinical care of patients with breast cancer . A framework to determine the clinical utility of tumor markers is required. In a previous publication, a “Tumor Marker Utility Grading System” (TMUGS) was proposed . TMUGS included a semi-quantitative grading scale (0-3+) which can be used to assign a score to a given tumor marker for a given outcome. Only those markers that are felt to be sufficiently strong to influence a therapeutic decision that results in improved clinical outcome for the patient are recommended. The studies from which data are used to assign a TMUGS grade can be placed into one of five Levels of Evidence (LOE).
Key wordstumor markers prognostic factors predictive factors breast cancer patient management treatment decisions
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