Background: This study compared the application of the St Gallen 2001 classification with a risk index developed at the New South Wales Breast Cancer Institute (BCI Index) for women with node-negative breast cancer treated without adjuvant systemic therapy. Methods: The BCI risk categories were constructed by identifying combinations of prognostic indicators that produced homogeneous low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups using the same variables as in the St Gallen classification. Results: The BCI low-risk category consisted of women aged 35 years or more with a grade 1 oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumour 20 mm or less in diameter, or with a grade 2 ER-positive tumour of 15 mm or less. This category constituted 40.1 per cent of patients, with a 10-year distant relapse-free survival (DRFS) rate of 97.2 per cent. The BCI intermediate-risk category included women aged 35 years or more with a grade 2 ER-positive tumour of diameter 16-20 mm, or a grade 1 or 2 ER-negative tumour measuring 15 mm or less, and comprised 12.1 percent of the women, with a 10-year DRFS rate of 88 per cent. The high-risk category comprised 47.7 per cent of women, with a 10-year DRFS rate of 68.4 per cent. Conclusion: If confirmed in other data sets, the BCI Index may be used to identify women at low risk of distant relapse (2.8 per cent at 10 years) who are unlikely to benefit from adjuvant systemic therapy, and women at intermediate risk of distant relapse (12 per cent at 10 years) in whom the benefit of adjuvant systemic therapy is small.