Thousands spared from chemotherapy

A pioneering cancer test which is now available on the NHS may spare thousands of people from having to undergo chemotherapy.

Hospitals in England can join a scheme which offers them the Oncotype DX test at a reduced price.

Recommended months ago by NICE, the test originally cost £2,000 to £2,500 which deterred many hospitals from using it.

Although the new price has not been announced, it will be offered at a reduced rate.

The test looks at genes taken from breast tissue and shows how likely breast cancer recurrence is and whether chemotherapy will be beneficial.

Research suggests only around 10 to 20 per cent of patients with early-stage breast cancer benefit from chemotherapy.

Professor Kefah Mokbel, lead surgeon at the London Breast Institute, said "This is great news. For too long we’ve had to treat too many women in a blanket fashion – whatever their tumour is like, they are offered chemotherapy."

"This is a real step forward and it’s fantastic news for the NHS. Around 25 per cent of women who have breast cancer will be eligible and some will be able to safely avoid chemotherapy."

Read The Daily Mail article: Breast cancer test to spare thousands from chemotherapy: Pioneering treatment to be available on the NHS from April

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Thousands spared from chemotherapy