The NI Cancer Trials Network (NICTN) were delighted to welcome over 50 attendees to a Breast Cancer Trials Showcase held in CCRCB 14 November 2017. The meeting, chaired by Mr Stuart McIntosh, NICTN Deputy Clinical Director, brought together national trial leads, breast cancer MDT members from across the region, scientists and patient/carer representatives from the NI Cancer Trials Forum (NICRCF). The event was a great success with the majority of people who completed evaluations rating the meeting as ‘excellent’ and ‘highly relevant’. Visiting speakers included Professor Daniel Rea, University of Birmingham, Chair of the NCRI Breast Clinical Studies Group, Miss Cliona Kirwan, University of Manchester and Professor Rob Stein, UCHL. The event led to lively discussion in relation to a range of issues following excellent presentations on clinical trials in the setting of personalised treatment in breast cancer:
ROSCO: Is there a role for CEP17/TOP2A testing in selecting anthracycline or taxane chemotherapy as neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer?
LORIS: Is active monitoring non-inferior to surgery in non-high grade DCIS, in terms of ipsilateral invasive breast cancer free survival time?
PRIMETIME: The risk of ipsilateral invasive breast disease following selection of women categories as very low risk by IHC4+C to direct selective avoidance of breast radiotherapy?
OPTIMA: Does multi-parameter analysis directed treatment assignment reduce chemotherapy use for patients with hormone sensitive primary breast cancer without detriment to recurrence and survival?
A session on trial decision aids was presented by Dr Indrani Bhattacharya from the Institute of Cancer Research. Margaret Grayson, Chair of the NICRCF, stated that patients wanted to hear about clinical trials but highlighted the findings of the NI Cancer Patient Experience Survey that reported clinical trials had not been discussed with the majority of patients. Dr Carmel Conefrey, from the University of Bristol, delivered the final session of the afternoon which focused on the challenges of patient recruitment to trials of less treatment. She concluded with a comment that had been a recurring theme throughout the afternoon – a cohesive MDT is key to facilitating recruitment to clinical trials!
NICTN wish to thank Roche who kindly supported catering for the event. They also wish to thank staff from NICTN, NIB and CRUK for information stands, and Caroline Crothers, CRUK Research Engagement Manager, for supporting event co-ordination.