Trial changes patients’ lives
MELISSA Irving was aged just 39 when she found a lump in her left breast and was due to have a mastectomy.
Instead, the mother of two from the NSW Central Coast was offered a chance to take part in the ELIMINATE clinical trial.
Instead of a mastectomy, her surgery was delayed and she was given 16 rounds of chemotherapy, the aromatase inhibitor letrozole and oestrogen suppressor goserelin. The treatment shrank her are pioneering, women could receive less treatment and still beat their cancer. Women with some small, slow-growing cancers will go without the standard radiotherapy treatment after surgery to see if it affects their cancer outcome.
Another trial will examine tumour so much she was able to preserve her breast and have a lumpectomy to beat the cancer.
The mother of two girls said she found it exciting to be part of a trial that might change the future of breast cancer treatment.
“The fact I’ve got two girls, I wanted to be part of something for future generations, to be proactive about changing people’s lives,” she said. whether it is necessary to remove all the lymph nodes when only a small amount of cancer has spread.
“Most cancer trials are about adding extra treatments, but there is other research that is hard to do and it is about asking ‘is it OK to give less treatment? – maybe not everyone needs it’,” says Prof Nicholas Wilcken, the chair of Breast Cancer Trials.
Currently all women who have a lumpectomy to treat breast cancer are routinely given five weeks of radiotherapy.
The trials underpinning this treatment protocol were