What is tumour profiling?

Tumour profiling tests can help you and your doctor make a more informed decision about having chemotherapy after breast cancer.

These tests look at samples of the tumour to find how active certain genes (not inherited genes) are in the cancer cells. The results help give information about the chances of the cancer coming back.

If the results show a low risk of the cancer coming back, it means you may not need chemotherapy.

Your cancer doctor or specialist nurse can tell you more about this.

Your cancer doctor may suggest having tumour profiling tests if you have breast cancer that:

Types of tumour profiling tests

There are different tumour profiling tests. You are likely to have Oncotype DX, EndoPredict or Prosigna if you are having treatment on the NHS. Your cancer doctor or specialist nurse can tell you more about this.

Some tumour profiling tests are available privately or are covered by private health insurance companies.

About our information

  • References

    Below is a sample of the sources used in our breast cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at cancerinformationteam@macmillan.org.uk

    European Society for Medical Oncology. Primary breast cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of oncology 26 (supplement 5): v8–v30. 2015.

    Morrow M, et al. Chapter 79: malignant tumors of the breast. DeVita, Hellman and Rosenberg’s cancer: principals and practice of oncology (10th edition). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2014.

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Early and locally advanced breast cancer: diagnosis and management. July 2018.

    Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. SIGN 134. Treatment of primary breast cancer: a national clinical guideline. September 2013.


  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Dr Rebecca Roylance, Consultant Medical Oncologist.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.