Scientists at the Women's Hospital at the University of Munich have found evidence that suggests the presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as a determining factor in early-stage breast cancer. The appearance of the cells and their abundance could tell doctors a lot about the patient's risk for recurrence or even death, according to DailyTech.com
The study results suggest that CTCs have proven to be a significant arbiter of a patient's chances of survival.
"Our study suggests testing CTCs may prove to be important to help individualize therapy for early-stage breast cancer where no measurable tumor is present," said Brigitte Rack, study leader and department head of gynecological oncology at the Women's Hospital at the University of Munich.
The study is great news for doctors who wish to tailor treatment options to the specific needs of their patients. A CTC test has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and Rack and her team hope to test the CTC theory on metastatic breast cancer patients in the near future.
According to the American Cancer Society, excluding skin cancer, breast cancer affects more American women than any other form of the disease.