Worldwide medical insurance customers might be interested to learn that a new technique is being researched that may help improve breast cancer survival rates.
The team from the University of California found that they could create an "immune profile" by assessing the relative levels of three types of immune cells within a patient's tumour.
These could then be used to predict the individual's likelihood of survival and guide doctors to provide patients with the most appropriate treatments.
Professor Lisa Coussens, who led the study, commented: "If our work translates into the clinic, it may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy in the treatment of certain cancers."
So far, the team have worked with the immune profile of mice, which they have found can be altered using certain drugs and chemotherapy.
The mice with altered profiles were shown to have significantly slower tumour growth, blocked metastasis and longer lives.