Research carried out in Ireland on a new high-tech test to detect early stage breast cancer shows it reduced the need for chemotherapy in 58% of patients.
Some 583 patients underwent the Oncotype Dx DNA test. Of those, 339 avoided chemotherapy.
Ireland became the first country in Europe to publicly fund the test in October 2011. The test was produced by Genomic Health. It has saved the HSE around €800,000.
The test predicts the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit as well as the risk of recurrence in early-stage breast cancer.
Ireland is the first European country to publicly fund the test, which was carried out over an 18-month period in eight Irish hospitals.