(ABC News) - For women who have breast cancer, it can take months to see if the treatment they are getting is making a difference.
Now, new research suggests there's a way to speed up the clock.
Vanderbilt researchers say a new technique could provide this answer in as little as two days.
Knowing that cancer cells break down sugar much faster than healthy cells, instead of looking at a tumor's size, scientist use a technique called "optical metabolic imaging" to see how quickly the tumor is using sugar.
If the tumor burns through sugar more slowly after treatment begins, it means there are fewer cancer cells and doctors are on the right path.
More research is needed before the test makes it to the doctor's office, but it is a promising sign that soon - for women getting breast cancer treatment - the waiting game could be much shorter.