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This Test means fewer women will need chemotherapy

This Test means fewer women will need chemotherapy

The news follows the publication of the trial of a test, routinely used in the NHS, for women with a type of early stage breast cancer...

This Test means fewer women will need chemotherapy," 

The news follows the publication of the trial of a test, routinely used in the NHS, for women with a type of early stage breast cancer, which works out the chances of breast cancer returning after treatment.

The genetic test, Oncotype Dx, gives a score between 0 and 100. Women who score between 0 and 10 will not need chemotherapy and those who score 26 or higher will need chemotherapy.

Women in the mid-range who score 11 to 25 generally have chemotherapy, but this new study has found similar survival rates between those who have chemotherapy and hormone therapy and those who have hormone therapy alone.

This was particularly the case for women aged over 50. For women aged under 50 those at the higher end of the mid-range may still need chemotherapy.

The US trial involved nearly 10,000 women with a common type of early stage breast cancer called hormone receptor positive breast cancer, which has not spread beyond the breast.

Although this study only applies to one specific type of breast cancer, it is a promising result that may help guide treatment for some groups of women with this disease.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on the use of this test are currently being reviewed, so new guidance will be available soon on this topic.