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Fast-tracked trial

November 9th, 2016

When NBCF commissioned an independent audit of the impact of research in 2015, it found that it takes 17 years for the results of a research study to make a difference to patient care and that more focus is needed to ensure dollars spent on research translate into new treatments and guidelines for treatment and support. NBCF funds projects designed to speed up this process and fast-track the transition of discoveries made in the lab to the benefit of those affected by breast cancer – supporting the bench-to-bedside philosophy.

Professor Susan Davis
Director of the Women’s Health Research Program, Monash University, VIC

Professor Susan Davis is trialling a treatment which aims to quickly deliver improvements to the quality of life for many women.

Women with estrogen sensitive tumours are often prescribed aromatase inhibitor therapy to ensure the cancer doesn’t come back. This therapy blocks the production of estrogen throughout a woman’s body, depriving any remaining breast cancer cells of the fuel to grow.

However the therapy causes vaginal dryness, irritation, painful sex and possibly urinary tract problems. These significant impacts on quality of life mean many women stop taking the treatment, putting themselves at risk of their cancer returning.

Although some women use a low-dose vaginal estrogen cream to alleviate the symptoms, Professor Susan Davis believes a non-estrogen alternative would help them enjoy sexual wellbeing while not putting themselves at risk.

This two-year study aims to accelerate development of a life-changing solution for women. With strong preliminary data on an alternative option and its safety, Professor Davis aims to provide final proof of benefits to women via a clinical trial. If successful, the treatment should be almost immediately available and accessible, positively impacting women’s intimate lives as soon as possible.