A team of researchers at the University of California San Francisco has discovered that an immune profile based on relative levels of three types of immune cells within a tumour can accurately predict a patient’s chances of surviving breast cancer.
Researchers from the US university examined 677 people with breast cancer, and discovered that an immune profile based on relative levels of three immune cells in the tumours — the killer T cell, the macrophage and helper T cell — accurately predicted overall survival from the disease.
The immune profile also determined whether an individual’s cancer was prone to metastasise or would recur once treated.
According to researchers, knowing a patient’s profile may one day help guide the treatment of breast cancer.
Researchers are planning to conduct a clinical trial to evaluate the new method later in 2011.