It was first issued in 1998 and has been reissued multiple times since, and has raised more than $86 million for breast cancer research.
"It feels miraculous, and I am beyond amazed that I have now been free of cancer for two years", Perkins said.
Findings of the past have indicated that women who met these criteria and scored below ten on the index test could safely skip chemotherapy without raising their rate of recurrence, however, those above 25 would nearly always be advised to use chemotherapy as a necessary treatment to lower risk of recurrence.
Cancer doctors said the findings would change practice in United Kingdom clinics, and meant women in this group could be treated safely with just surgery and hormone therapy. That's because they don't really benefit from it, according to a study published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Professor Boyle said several immunotherapy trials for triple negative breast cancer are about to start in Australia. Twenty-five percent of those patients won't qualify for chemotherapy because of age or medical problems.
Hormone-receptor-positive, axillary node-negative disease -- the type of breast cancer studied here - accounts for half of all the breast cancer cases in the USA, and chemotherapy historically has been part of most women's treatment regimen after surgery.
The Oncotype DX test costs $4,600 and is typically reimbursed by insurance, according to Dr. Steven Shak, chief medical officer of Genomic Health, the maker of Oncotype DX.
"It confirms that using the 21-gene expression test on tumours, we can identify which women will benefit from endocrine (hormone) therapy only, thus eliminating the need for them to have chemotherapy".
After tumor removal, genetic testing is commonly used to predict which type of chemotherapy would give the most benefit.
"She knew from that that the benefit of chemotherapy was very low, so she chose to not do chemotherapy, just do the hormone pill, and then also had just a short course of radiation, only three weeks instead of the standard six to seven", said Melissa Mitchell, a radiation oncologist with the University of Kansas Cancer Center. Other patients may change their treatment approach based on the results.
The patient, 52-year-old Judy Perkins, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.
He said: This is a remarkable and extremely promising result, but we need to see this effect repeated in other patients before giving hope of a new immunotherapy for incurable metastatic breast cancer.
Mall said while she, like many cancer survivors, will never completely be able to erase fear of recurrence, she is thrilled that thousands of women in her situation will be spared the anguish she experienced.
"The study should have a huge impact on doctors and patients", Dr. Kathy Albain, a hematologist/oncologist at Loyola Medicine in IL and a study co-author, said in a press release.
Doctors have reported a "complete and durable regression" of an advanced breast cancer after treating a woman with pioneering therapy using her own immune system.
"Its findings will greatly expand the number of patients who can forgo chemotherapy without compromising their outcomes".
- You think that when a woman gets breast cancer, chemo is the go-to treatment.
"This [study] doesn't tell us chemotherapy is not effective in some cases."