Belfast was one of 30 centres that took part in the Import Low clinical trial. From 2007 – 2010 over 2000 women, aged 50 and above, participated in the study following breast conserving surgery for early breast cancer. Women were randomised to one of 3 groups:
- standard whole-breast radiotherapy
- whole-breast radiotherapy with full dose radiotherapy to the original tumour site and reduced dose to the rest of the breast
- partial-breast radiotherapy
The results of the trial were published in the Lancet in September 2017.
The report indicated that local relapse rates were similarly low in all groups and women in the partial-breast radiotherapy group reported fewer long-term changes relating to breast appearance and feel.
Margaret Grayson, Chair of the NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum commented; ‘The results of the Import Low Trial are important to women diagnosed with early breast cancer in relation to their radiotherapy treatment and will also impact on quality of life issues. Thank you to the 2018 women throughout the UK who took part in this Trial which continues to highlight the importance of research and how vital clinical trials are to us as a population.’
The study was sponsored by the Institute of Clinical Research and funded by Cancer Research UK.