London: Scientists have developed a simple genetic test to detect breast cancer, which they claim would spare hundreds of women with the early stages of the disease from undergoing chemotherapy that has side-effects.
An international team has come up with the Oncotype DX test which can help doctors determine the likelihood of breast cancer returning and if further intervention is beneficial, the `Daily Mail` reported.
The non-invasive test uses a small sample of breast tumour tissue, focusing on groups of genes which can influence how a cancer is likely to grow and respond to treatment, say the scientists.
From the results doctors can accurately see if chemotherapy, which can result in fatigue, nausea, vomiting and hair loss, is advisable.
Simon Holt, a breast surgeon at the Hywel Dda Health Board in Wales, said: "a genomic test like Oncotype DX that is capable of predicting treatment benefits and/or outcomes may have an important role to play in improving treatment decision making and ultimately impacting on quality of care."
The test is currently available in the US and American Society for Clinical Oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network now include it in their treatment guidelines for early breast cancer.