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Following a positive breast cancer test, many women's top concern is whether or not the tumor will spread to other areas of the body. A team of researchers from the University of Utah may have developed a new method to accurately predict future risk.
The researchers reported in the journal Nature Medicine that breast cancer cells grafted onto the mammary glands of mice progress in the same manner as they would in the woman they were taken from.
"For example, grafts of tumor tissue from patients whose cancer had spread to the lung also spread to the lungs of the mice that received them," said lead researcher Alana Welm.
She said that the method could be used by doctors to determine the most effective course of treatment for women with breast cancer by giving them an accurate picture of how a patient's tumors are likely to progress.
Furthermore, it may be possible to develop similar models for other types of cancer, the team said. This may dramatically increase medical professionals' ability to treat the disease.
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