A new study, published in the journal Science last week, shows how miniture versions of tumours can be grown in the laboratory and used to predict which drugs would be effective in patients. The study was 100% accurate at telling which drugs would fail and could spare patients from unnecessary side effects of these drugs.

Prof David Cunningham, from the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, where some of the patients were treated, said: “This promising research moves us forward in the field of personalised medicine, and should ultimately lead to smarter, kinder and more effective treatments for patients.”

Prof Charles Swanton, the chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, said: “Predicting how effective treatments such as chemotherapy will be for an individual patient can be difficult, with very few accurate tests available for doctors.

“This new approach could help us test future targeted therapies before trialling them in the clinic.”

Read more on the BBC website here