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Breast Cancer Research Trust NZ, gaining knowledge and saving lives

Our Trial Participants

Val’s Story

Val has been a participant in the Suppression of Ovarian Function Trial (SOFT) for 16 years.

In December 2005, Val was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer after finding a lump in her chest. She was 45.

Within two weeks of receiving her diagnosis, Val had a mastectomy on her left breast.

Val, trial participant of Breast Cancer Research

Marion’s Story

Marion is currently a participant in a lymph node grafting clinical trial. This clinical trial is aiding in further developing a new, less invasive surgical technique (lymph node grafting), to reduce lymphedema (arm swelling) in patients who have undergone breast cancer treatment. 

Six weeks after receiving a clear mammogram result, Marion felt thickened tissue in her breast. After initially putting it down to hormones, her breast began to swell and dimple while she was on a trip in the South Island. However, the 2011 Christchurch earthquake meant she couldn’t get home for another four days.

Marion, a trial participant for Breast Cancer Research

Lisa’s Story

Lisa is a participant in the NEON Trial. This international clinical trial is investigating whether an immunotherapy drug can help the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells, in women with triple-negative breast cancer. The trial will determine if the drug is safe and effective in treating this type of breast cancer before surgery.

Six months after receiving a clear mammogram, Lisa felt a lump in her breast. After getting the lump checked by a doctor, and undergoing further scans, Lisa was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a less common and more aggressive form of breast cancer. She was 49 years old.

Lisa, a trial participant of Breast Cancer Research

Kathy’s Story

Kathy was a participant in the MonarchE trial for 2 years.

Because Kathy was aware of a family history of breast cancer, with her mother and two cousins being diagnosed, she made sure she always had an annual mammogram. Kathy was 52 when a routine mammogram in July 2017 showed an abnormality in her breast. After having a biopsy, Kathy learnt that she had invasive breast cancer.

Kathy, trial participant for Breast Cancer Research

Jan’s Story

Jan was a participant in the FERGI trial. This international clinical trial investigated a novel drug for the treatment of a certain type of advanced breast cancer (also known as metastatic, stage 4 or incurable breast cancer).

In 2004, Jan was experiencing extreme fatigue, and after a knock to her right breast didn’t heal after two courses of antibiotics, she was referred to a breast surgeon. A mammogram revealed Jan had breast cancer in both of her breasts and she underwent a double mastectomy. Jan was 53.

Jan, trial participant for Breast Cancer Research

Sam’s Story - in Memory of her mother Chany

Chany was a participant in the FERGI Trial. After living with breast cancer for 15 years, Chany sadly passed in 2017.

Sam remembers her mum’s larger than life personality fondly, and the fact that she had to be “dressed to the nines whenever she stepped out of the house.” But when her mum stepped outside with her dressing gown on, she knew something wasn’t right.

Chany, trial participant for Breast Cancer Research

Huia’s Story

Huia is currently taking part in the ABCpro Study.

Huia ensured she attended her annual breast screening appointments. Huia’s regular mammogram in 2020, which was delayed by a month and a half due to the Covid-19 lockdown, showed an abnormality in her breast. A scan and biopsy confirmed she had breast cancer.

Huia, trial participant for Breast Cancer Research