Genetic test spares women from chemotherapy

Some 70% of women with early-stage breast cancer and an intermediate risk of cancer recurrence can safely skip chemotherapy after their tumours have been removed, US researchers say.

The research, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago and simultaneously published, studied how to treat women with early-stage breast cancer that responds to hormone therapy.

The 7000 women enrolled were deemed to have a medium level risk of recurrence based on a 21 gene expression assay (Oncotype DX, Genomic Health) that predicts the likelihood of cancer