San Antonio symposium update

The 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held in December, reported on clinical trials being held around the world, including by the Australian-based Breast Cancer Trials.

Below is brief summary of three key study findings for people with early breast cancer. More trial results can be found in Breast Cancer Trials’ Research Blog.

Hormone receptor positive

Long-term follow up results from the IBIS-II clinical trial found that taking anastrozole (Arimidex) for five years can reduce the risk of a new invasive breast cancer or DCIS by almost a half (49 per cent). The preventative effect for post-menopausal women at high risk of breast cancer lasted for at least 12 years – seven years after women on the trial stopped taking anastrozole.


The APHINITY clinical trial has shown that adding pertuzumab (Perjeta) to the standard treatment of trastuzumab (Herceptin) and chemotherapy reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence (returning).

After six years of follow-up, researchers found that people who received the pertuzumab combination had a 24 per cent reduced relative risk of breast cancer recurrence or death compared with those who received standard treatment of trastuzumab and chemotherapy alone.


A 10-year follow up study of women who had been treated with accelerated partial breast radiotherapy after surgery showed their results were similar to that of women who received whole breast radiotherapy. These results suggest radiotherapy to just part of the breast, rather than the whole breast as is usually done, may be an acceptable option for some women with low risk early breast cancer.

Issue 86
Autumn 2020