Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Breast Cancer Australia


The ANZBCTG conducts a breast cancer clinical trials research program in Australia and New Zealand for the prevention, treatment and cure of breast cancer.

Women who are interested in taking part in a breast cancer clinical trial should discuss this with their doctor. For further information about clinical trials and how they are conducted, please click here.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide; rates are highest in developing countries and the worldwide incidence is expected to increase. Preventative treatment for women with an increased risk of breast cancer due to a strong family history and/or other risk factors may include treatment with drugs such as tamoxifen and anastrozole. There are currently no ANZBCTG prevention clinical trials open for new volunteers.

Breast cancer is treated both locally (surgery and/or radiotherapy) and, when required, also systemically with drug treatments. Local treatments are used to remove, destroy or control breast cancer cells in a specific area, and systemic treatments are used to destroy or control breast cancer cells which may have spread from the breast to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system and blood vessels. Supportive care research evaluates interventions that aim to relieve side effects and improve quality of life for women affected by breast cancer.

Using appropriate local and systemic treatments reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence, improves prognosis and saves lives. Over the last ten years there have been many improvements in local and systemic treatments proven through breast cancer clinical trials research, providing more patients with more treatment options tailored to their specific type of disease. For example, sentinel node biopsy, now a standard of care for early breast cancer, is associated with fewer side effects and enables many patients to avoid more extensive surgery. Treatment with aromatase inhibitors for women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer, the addition of taxanes to chemotherapy regimens, and trastuzumab for women with HER2-positive breast cancer, are other examples of advances that have been achieved through clinical trials.

Many people, however, will still experience a recurrence of breast cancer and continued research into new, more effective treatment combinations and targeted treatments is essential. It is not always clear why some people respond differently to treatments and have different outcomes. Current systemic treatment clinical trials aim to refine drug treatments in particular subgroups of women who remain at higher risk of recurrence despite receiving the best available treatments as standard of care. Many patients with breast cancer find they have to make complex decisions regarding their treatment options. Through supportive care research, tools such as decision aids may improve patients’ ability and confidence in making informed decisions based on their personal priorities and situation.

Please note: personal medical information or advice cannot be provided via this website. If you have questions please contact your usual doctor.

The following ANZBCTG clinical trials are currently open:

 OlympiA (ANZ 1404/BIG 6-13/AstraZeneca D081CC00006: OlympiA)
  OlympiA is an international study which will enrol 500 patients in approximately 500 centres. It is open to both women and men diagnosed with "HER2 negative breast cancer" provided they have an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. More information...
 POSNOC (ANZ 1501/RD-5103-001-13: POSNOC)
  The standard surgical treatment for breast cancer involves surgery such as mastectomy, or excision of a tumour from the breast and also the removal of one or two "sentinel" lymph nodes from the armpit. The nodes are examined to check if cancer cells are present. If breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes women may undergo a second operation to remove all the lymph nodes in the armpit or receive radiotherapy treatment to the armpit. Recent trials suggest that if there is only a limited amount of cancer in 1 or 2 sentinel nodes then further treatment of nodes may be unnecessary. It is possible that the other treatments routinely used in breast cancer treatment are sufficient to treat any remaining traces of cancer in the remaining nodes. If the outcome is the same, it may be possible to safely avoid further surgery (or radiation to the armpit) in these patients. The aim of the POSNOC trial is to find out if further axillary treatment is of benefit in women with macrometastases found in one or two lymph nodes. More information...
  PANACEA is a phase I/II clinical trial for women with HER2 positive breast cancer that has spread to other areas around the breast (locally advanced) or to other parts of the body (metastatic or advanced breast cancer). Two treatments are being tested in PANACEA, Trastuzumab and MK-3475. Although both treatments have been given individually to breast cancer patients, PANACEA is the first study that will assess the benefits and side-effects of using them together. The aim of the PANACEA clinical trial is to determine whether trastuzumab and MK-3475 can be given together and to evaluate the side effects, treatment tolerability and effectiveness of this treatment. More information...
 PALLAS (ANZ 1603/AFT-05/ABCSG 42/BIG 14-03: PALLAS)
  PALLAS is an international clinical trial which will enrol 4600 patients. It is open to both women and men diagnosed with Hormone Receptor (HR) positive, Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) negative, early stage breast cancer. PALLAS aims to find out if patients with early stage breast cancer could benefit from receiving 2 years of Palbociclib along with standard hormone treatment, compared with standard hormone treatment alone. More information...
  Treatment of breast cancer often involves surgery first which may be followed by additional treatment. However, neoadjuvant therapy (treatment before surgery) may be given when the breast cancer is large or complex in an attempt to shrink the cancer, which may potentially avoid the need for more extensive surgery associated with mastectomy and reconstruction. The ELIMINATE clinical trial will investigate if giving neoadjuvant hormone therapy and chemotherapy at the same time is more effective than neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone at shrinking the breast cancer before surgery. More information...
  For women diagnosed with early invasive breast cancer, after breast conserving surgery their standard treatment includes radiotherapy given to the affected breast to reduce the risk of breast cancer returning to that breast (local recurrence). PROSPECT is a clinical trial which will use a new technology, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in combination with review of pathological features of the breast tumour to prospectively identify women who can safely avoid radiotherapy because their risk of local recurrence is very low. More information...
  The PENELOPEB clinical trial is for women who have received neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemotherapy for hormone receptor (HR) positive and HER2 normal (negative) breast cancer. Only women who have some cancer remaining in the surgically removed breast tissue are eligible, because this indicates a higher than average risk of the cancer coming back (relapse). They would usually be offered hormone (endocrine) treatment for at least five years. The PENELOPEB clinical trial is designed to find out whether adding one year of treatment with a new drug called palbociclib (PD-0332991) to standard hormone therapy will benefit women with this type of breast cancer. More information...