SBIR and STTR Success Story for
OncoMetrics, Inc.

(Information Posted/Updated on 07/04/2004)

OncoMetrics, Inc.
237 Strobel Road
Trumbull, CT  06611

Contact:    Michael Retsky
Phone:      203-452-1649

Project Title:  Precise breast cancer staging with an expert system
Related Award(s):  1R43CA65314
Technology Developed:
We developed a computer simulation of breast cancer growth and development based on a mature database from Milan. A major discovery was that dormancy was very common in breast cancer and that dormancy can be terminated stochastically or as a result of surgery. One explanation is that surgery to remove a primary tumor induces angiogenesis of dormant distant disease.

Key Words:  angiogenesis, breast cancer, surgery, dormancy.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
This did not lead to a commercial success due to some internal problems not related to science. However this has developed into a major cancer research project now conducted at Harvard Medical School in Judah Folkman's laboratory.

Other Comments Related to Company's Success Story:
As a direct result of the research done under this grant, we have developed and published a new explanation for the mammography paradox for women age 40-49. That is, as reported by eight randomized trials of breast cancer screening conducted over the past 40 years, women aged 50-59 who are screened have a 20 - 30% mortality advantage compared to unscreened control subjects. However, when women aged 40-49 years are screened, there is either no advantage or a slight disadvantage for the first 6-8 years in individual trials, meta-analysis and overviews of all trials. After that, an advantage begins to appear (25-30). These paradoxical data have not been adequately explained. A consensus review committee (NIH 1997) advised against screening all young women for breast cancer. A minority report came to the opposite conclusion. This developed into a major controversy. Our explanation is that early detection finds smaller tumors with fewer nodes positive which provides an advantage. However the resulting surgery accelerates relapse for approximately 20% of premenopausal node-positive patients. This temporarily overcomes the modest advantage. Afterwards, the expected advantage appears. This is published in Retsky et al. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology 15:1-8, 2003. Also see Retsky et al. Breast Cancer Research May 2004 for a late update of this research.