Chips predict breast cancer outcome
Genetic profiling could help tailor treatment to tumour.
31 January 2002
One in ten women in the United States and Britain get breast cancer; half die from it. How tumours look tells oncologists little about which ones might spread. So most women receive a toxic combination of hormone treatment and chemotherapy, in case cancer cells lurk elsewhere in their bodies.
Yet only about 20% of women have tumours aggressive enough to require this worst-case-scenario therapy. "The rest would be cured by radiotherapy and surgery alone," says cancer geneticist Samuel Aparicio of the University of Cambridge, UK.
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