• Preventative trials
  • Treatment
  • Quality of Life

Prevention trials test new approaches such as the use of medicines or changes in lifestyle that may lower the risk of getting certain cancers.

Some clinical trials will focus on risk factors as these factors can also tell us important information about what might cause breast cancer, providing clues as to who is most at risk and how we might prevent breast cancer from occurring.

Risk factors include lifestyle factors, such as alcohol intake and being overweight, however, there are factors that you have no control over (called non-modifiable risk factors), which may affect your breast cancer risk – such as being a woman, getting older, and having a family history of the disease.

Some people with multiple close relatives diagnosed with breast (or ovarian) cancer have inherited a BRCA gene mutation. This means they are at very high risk for breast cancer.

Women at high risk for developing breast cancer have the options of lifestyle changes, regular breast screening, preventative mastectomy or medical prevention for managing their risk.

Below are links to preventative clinical trials the Breast Cancer Research Trust have enabled.

Tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention (IBIS 1) – taking tamoxifen for reducing the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk for breast cancer 

ANZ 0501 Later trial

International breast cancer intervention study (IBIS) II

IBIS II bone sub-study


Results of the IBIS II suite of trials

Treatment trials test new therapies or new applications for existing therapies to improve a patient’s outcome.

Treatments include drugs such as chemotherapy or hormonal treatments, radiotherapy, and surgical techniques.

The BCRT have participated in training programmes and use booklets called ‘decision aids’ to help with better communication of clinical trial and treatment information. At the time of breast cancer diagnosis and planning of treatment, there is a lot of detailed information for women and their wāhanu to understand.

Breast cancer is not just one disease, there are many different types. In addition to finding treatment options for these harder-to-treat breast cancers, some of the other major clinical challenges include trying to find ways to reduce the side effects of treatments that can often severely impact the quality of life of people with breast cancer, and finding alternative treatments for when breast cancer develops resistance.

Below are links to treatment research and clinical trials the Breast Cancer Research Trust has participated in.

Pilot sentinel node biopsy study  

Study 10-93  

BIG 1-98 Letrozole Trial  

BIG 1-98 Letrozole Trial: Fingernail sub-study 

Menstrual Cycle Study 

ATAC Trial  

Ductal Carcinoma Insitu (DCIS) Trial  

Intergroup Exemestane Study  

Communication study  

International breast cancer intervention study IBIS) II decision aid sub study  

Wound Infiltration Study  

SNAC2 decision aid study  

Letrozole Compared with Anastrozole for breast cancer  

Sentinel node biopsy versus axillary clearance part 1 (SNAC 1)  

Study of Letrozole Extension (SOLE) trial

International breast cancer study group (IBCSG) study 23


Quality of life studies pay special attention to a breast cancer patient’s feelings about their diagnosis and the impact and side effects of treatments.

Thanks to advances in breast cancer research, survival rates have increased meaning that more wāhine/women are living with the long-term consequences of their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment than ever before.

Breast cancer can have far-reaching physical and psychological impacts. Maintaining a positive quality of life – at the time of diagnosis, during treatment, and after completion of treatment – is a crucial aspect of treatment outcomes and breast cancer care, for women and their whānau.

Quality of life studies look for ways to improve the overall experience for patients who receive these treatments now and in the future.

Below are links to the quality of life studies the Breast Cancer Research Trust has participated in.

HABITS trial  

ATAC quality of life sub-study 

Lymphoedema study

The use of zoledronic acid for the prevention of bone loss in women receiving letrozole 


EORTC study