New Zealand scientists are one step closer to bringing a new tool, which would guide clinical decision making in the management of breast cancer to the market.
A protein, called "shon", is able to predict whether a patient will, or will not, benefit from hormone therapy and how a person will react to chemotherapy before the removal of a tumour.
The new research has been published in the British Journal of Cancer.
The new development is significant because it can help oncologists and clinicians to be "more precise in what is going to help a patient," survivor and Breast Cancer Cure trustee Fay Sowerby told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.
"I have heard oncologists and clinicians say, 'If you can, please help us understand who we need to worry about, and who we don't need to worry about,' and for some of those patients, if they take their treatment, they will in fact be very successful and are likely to have a cure, whereas for others, if they take that treatment, it is not going to help them, so being more precise in what is going to help a patient. This is critical in helping cure.
"You don't want to be spending five years in endocrine treatment when it's, in fact, not going to help you, because these are hard treatments to take, often, for people, and so, as a patient, you want to know when you take this treatment, that it's actually working for you."
Randomised clinical trials will begin in the near future.