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Cancer Trials Ireland CEO, Eibhlin Mulroe, added that the fact that so many women in Ireland were able to take part in this trial "demonstrates the world-class capability of our unique network of cancer trials research units spread across Ireland".

The treatment involves a highly personalized approach and a patient's tumor is genetically analyzed to "identify the rare changes that might make the cancer visible to the immune system".

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her life.

The study is thought to be the largest breast cancer treatment trial ever conducted.

"These findings, [which show] no benefit from receiving chemotherapy plus hormone therapy for most patients in this intermediate-risk group, will go a long way to support oncologists and patients in decisions about the best course of treatment", Abrams said.

"It's a fundamental change in the way we look after women with early breast cancer".

Being able to avoid chemotherapy would be a blessing for thousands of women with breast cancer.

After years of follow up, their results were almost identical with women who received hormone therapy yielding a 93.9 per cent survival rate and those with both therapies a 93.8 per cent survival rate.

In addition to having their tumors removed, the women in the study underwent a genetic test called Oncotype DX, manufactured by California-based Genomic Health.

"The study is going to provide women a piece of information to help them make a very hard decision", said the survivor now celebrating 10-years being cancer-free. However, there was a range between favourable and unfavourable where it was not clear whether we should give chemotherapy. A little boost can outweigh the risks of the treatment for these patients.

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Judy Perkins, 49, had been given three months to live, but two years later there is no sign of cancer in her body.

It enrolled 10,273 U.S. women with HR+HER2-AN- breast cancer, which accounts for 23,000 of the 55,000 diagnoses in the United Kingdom each year.

In a paper published in December, Kurian and Katz reported that chemotherapy use was plunging among patients with early-stage breast cancer.

About 17 percent of the women tested had high-risk scores and were advised to have chemotherapy.

Simon Vincent, director of research at Breast Cancer Now, told The Guardian: "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". The therapy also displayed some impressively positive response rates, promising at the very least an extra possibility for patients where pre-existing treatments have failed.

Professor Arnie Purushotham, senior clinical advisor at Cancer Research UK, said that by grouping patients based on how likely their cancer is to return, the trial shows great potential to ensure treatment is kinder without compromising its effectiveness.

"We have been using Oncotype DX for some years now among women in tumours that are less than 4 cm with no axillary lymph nodes, estrogen progesterone receptor positive and HER 2 new negative".

"This [study] doesn't tell us chemotherapy is not effective in some cases."

While chemo can be greatly helpful to some patients, it has a significant number of drawbacks and serious side effects.

"If it weren't for patients like (ours) throughout the country, we wouldn't know these answers", Yost explained.


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