100th Hunter woman joins life-saving breast cancer prevention study
IBIS-II, a major international breast cancer prevention study, has reached an important milestone with 100 women from the Hunter region volunteering to take part. However, many more volunteers are needed to help reach the international goal of 10,000 women.
IBIS-II is being conducted in Australia and New Zealand by the Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZ BCTG) and is coordinated internationally by Cancer Research UK. It is the second prevention study undertaken by the ANZ BCTG and follows the landmark IBIS-I which showed that the drug tamoxifen could prevent breast cancer in some women at increased risk.
The new, unique and vitally important IBIS-II study is supported in Australia and New Zealand by the National Health and Medical Research Council. It is the only clinical trial worldwide to investigate whether the drug anastrozole can prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of the disease.
Previous research using anastrozole as a treatment for early breast cancer suggests that it could prevent up to 70 percent of new tumours occurring, or 300,000 breast cancers per year worldwide. To confirm its role in preventing the disease in women at increased risk, a large comparative outcomes study must be conducted. More women are encouraged to participate so that the results are obtained as soon as possible.
Elizabeth Doyle from Cardiff, NSW was recently the 100th woman to join IBIS-II through Calvary Mater Newcastle. She is taking part in the study to help change the lives of women in the future. "My mother died of breast cancer at age 78, when I was 37," Elizabeth said. "We had a wonderful relationship, she was my best friend, and I feel I have missed out on what could have been quite a few more years of having her in my life."
"The IBIS-II study may or may not necessarily help me but if I can help other women to perhaps have their mothers, daughters, sisters or nieces in their lives longer, then to me that would be so wonderful. If any other women are considering joining the study I encourage them to do it because it is so important that we do everything we can to fight, and win, against this disease."
Professor John Forbes, ANZ BCTG Director of Research, Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Newcastle and International IBIS-II Study Co-Chairman said it was very gratifying that so many women had come forward to take part in the IBIS-II study.
"The findings from this research could provide a valuable approach to prevent breast cancer, not only for women today but also for their daughters and granddaughters in the future."
"This study represents a remarkable collaboration by the researchers of the ANZ BCTG with their international colleagues and highlights the important contribution being made by women in Australia and New Zealand that may ultimately provide benefit globally for millions of women."
Hunter women can find out more about whether they are eligible to take part in the study by calling 1800 640 709. More information is also available on the ANZ BCTG website: www.anzbctg.org.
To interview Professor Forbes or a woman taking part in the study, please contact Katie Smith - Recruitment and Promotions Officer, ANZ BCTG.
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