The final BCFNZ grant is $30,000 to support patient participation in the ELIMINATE clinical trial at Christchurch Hospital. This multi-centre trial, coordinated by the Australia New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, will investigate whether some women with large breast tumours will benefit from being given hormone treatment concurrently with chemotherapy, before surgery. If successful, some previously-inoperable tumours may disappear or shrink to a size that makes them operable, or women with operable tumours might be able to have breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy), instead of more aggressive surgery (mastectomy).
ELIMINATE is a phase 2 trial conducted by the Australia & New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group to test whether giving two types of breast cancer treatment (chemotherapy and hormone treatment) concurrently is more effective than giving consecutively (which is common practice). Participants have oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer (ER+) and their tumours are large and/or attached to nearby tissue. Shrinking the tumour using neoadjuvant therapy before surgery could mean an easier and smaller operation is required rather than mastectomy. BCFNZ is funding patients through Auckland and Canterbury DHBs, and the trial is also running at Waikato Hospital.
“Women with larger tumours tend to have a lower survival rate, so we’re keen to see the results of this trial, which delivers the benefits of hormone treatment earlier and may also reduce the burden of surgery,” said Evangelia Henderson, chief executive at BCFNZ.