A new lung cancer test developed from a similar test in breast cancer patients by scientists in the US can identify those most likely to benefit from post surgery treatment.
Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have between a 30 and 50 per cent relapse rate following surgery to remove the tumour in the lungs.
By analysing the gene signature of people suffering with the illness, doctors believe they can assess the prognosis and development of the disease just like they are able to do in breast cancer incidences.
"To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to show a high consistency of the gene signature on both breast cancer and NSCLC," said Dung Tsa Chen, author of the research.
He added that the malignancy-risk gene signature may then be used to identify those people who could be given adjuvant chemotherapy to improve their survival chances.
According to Macmillan, around four out of five lung cancer cases are NSCLC, with surgery the preferred treatment option.