A SCOTS cancer charity has welcomed new DNA research into the disease which they say could "change the face of breast cancer" by allowing patients to receive tailor-made treatments.

The landmark study by Cancer Research UK examined the genetic make-up of 2000 tumours and found breast cancer can be divided into 10 different types, paving the way to personalised therapies and better estimates of a patient's chances of survival.

James Jopling, interim director for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Scotland – which helped with the study – welcomed the findings.

He said: "This is incredibly exciting research which has the potential to change the face of breast cancer; from how we diagnose and treat it, to how we follow it up afterwards. In essence, the entire patient journey could change."

Until now, breast cancer had been classified into four subgroups, depending on whether sufferers are oestrogen receptor positive or negative, and either tested as positive or negative for the HER2 protein.

There are hopes that the study, published in the journal Nature, could help scientists find out how gene faults cause the cancer to develop and lead to the creation of new drugs.

Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK chief executive, said: "This is a landmark study that really changes the way we think about breast cancer – no longer as one disease but actually as 10 quite distinct diseases, dependent on which genes are really switched on and which ones aren't for an individual."