Clinical trials for breast cancer

Current research trials for breast cancer

Research into finding out more about the best treatments for breast cancer is ongoing.


Trials are looking at different ways of giving radiotherapy and giving it over shorter periods of time. Doctors want to see if this reduces side effects, while being as effective as standard radiotherapy.

Trials are looking at intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for breast cancer. It shapes the beams more accurately so the dose of radiotherapy can be changed in different parts of the breast. This means you have a decreased dose to healthy breast tissue, reducing side effects.

Targeted therapy drugs

Trials are looking at giving targeted therapies, such as trastuzumab and lapatinib, over shorter times and in different ways. The Persephone trial is trying to find out if having trastuzumab for six months works as well as having it for a year and if it lowers the risk of heart damage.

Other trials are trying to find out if giving a targeted therapy with chemotherapy before surgery is better at shrinking the cancer than chemotherapy on its own. Others are looking at giving targeted therapy drugs with chemotherapy at different times.


Many trials are looking at the effectiveness of giving different combinations of chemotherapy drugs, over varying lengths of time. Doctors want to know what works best in reducing the risk of breast cancer coming back and causing fewer side effects.

We have more information about current clinical trials.

Back to Can and should I take part?

Questions to ask

You may like to ask your doctor or nurse some questions before deciding whether to take part in a clinical trial.

Taking part in a trial

Clinical trials are confidential and you won’t be entered into one without giving your consent.