New online tool for clinicians could predict long-term risk of breast cancer returning
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A new, simple web-based calculator that could better predict the long term risk of breast cancer returning in other areas of the body has today been published online by researchers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Queen Mary University of London.

The prognostic tool – CTS5 (Clinical Treatment Score post-5-years) – published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, could be used to decide which patients are at high enough risk of their cancer returning after receiving the standard five years of endocrine (hormone) therapy, and so could benefit from continuation of treatment. It could also predict which patients are at low risk of recurrence, and so can avoid any further therapy along with the potential adverse side effects.

Over the last three decades, there has been a major increase in the rate of invasive breast cancer in Western countries. Approximately 85 per cent of patients are now diagnosed as oestrogen receptor (ER) positive, which means that the cancer grows in response to the hormone oestrogen. Almost all of these patients are prescribed five years of hormone therapy after having standard treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy), to lower the risk of the cancer returning.

However, hormone therapy can have significant

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