The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has announced the release of a second set of guidelines recommending three tests as options to help NHS clinicians decide whether to prescribe chemotherapy for some people with early breast cancer.

NICE’s previously published guidelines from 2013 recommended Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score to help determine which patients need chemotherapy.

The Institute acknowledges Oncotype DX as the only test that reduces the overall number of patients who receive chemotherapy, as well as the only test supported by long-term patient outcomes evidence.

The updated guidelines have, however, recommend two further tests: Myriad Genetics’ EndoPredict, and NanoString Technologies’ Prosigna as alternative options.

The tests are able to predict how the tutor is most likely to grow, and whether it is more or less likely to spread. Used together with other information such as tumour size and grade, the aim of the tests is to make the targeting of chemotherapy in breast cancer more effective by identifying people who chemotherapy would be most suitable for.

Simon D H Holt, honorary consultant surgical oncologist at the Peony Breast Care Unit commented: “Oncotype DX is the only test that provides specific information about an individual patient’s response to chemotherapy, correctly identifying the important minority of patients who will receive substantial treatment benefit and the majority of patients who will not benefit from chemotherapy.

“This test allows us to target treatment much more effectively and should be routinely used for all eligible patients.”

All three tests are available for the NHS at a discounted price, following agreements with all companies involved.