International health insurance customers might want to discuss chromosomal instability in cancerous tumours with their doctors.
The idea of classifying cancer patients' chances of survival by the level of chromosomal instability (CIN) has arisen in a recent study.
Published in Cancer Research, the report analysed the CIN status of more than 3,000 cancer patients.
When this was linked to data regarding their survival, the team found that people with moderate CIN were less likely to survive than those with very low CIN.
However, the researchers discovered that patients with the most extreme levels of CIN had the better chance of survival.
Lead author on the paper and head of translational research at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute, Dr Charles Swanton, commented: "Identifying distinct patient subgroups might help doctors plan personalised cancer care and avoid unnecessary treatment."