Individual analysis of DNA from the tumour allows doctors to pinpoint the best available treatment for it.
It could mean an end to the traditional labelling of cancers based on the site such as breast, prostate and lung.
Researchers holding the first long-term study of “personalised” medicine found 15 per cent of very ill patients with various tumours treated after genetic tests survived three years.
Only seven per cent receiving standard treatments survived.
Six per cent survived ten years, compared with one per cent in the untested group.
Study leader Professor Apostolia Maria Tsimberidou told the American Society of Clinical Oncology she expected next generation sequencing to improve survival “dramatically” in coming years.
Asco’s Dr Catherine Diefenbach said experts had barely “scratched the surface” and today’s “faster and more robust genetic tests” meant more people could be helped.
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