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Breast Cancer Research Centre - WA

Our Services – Research and Treatment

Our World Class Research and Treatment

BCRC-WA conducts research via clinical trials which leads to better ways to treat breast cancer.

We are Australia’s busiest breast cancer trials unit with 57% of our trials focused on furthering our understanding of treatments for metastatic (advanced) breast cancer. The outcomes of our research provides the foundation for the treatments we provide to patients.

11 of our trials have changed the way breast cancer is treated internationally, with two of our trials leading to a 50% increase in survival rates.

Most of our trials are multi-centre international trials designed to evaluate new drugs which are necessary as doctors learn more about the nature of breast cancer.

Medical oncologist and founder of BCRC-WA, Professor Arlene Chan, oversees all the clinical trials and research at BCRC-WA. Professor Chan, who was awarded a Member for the Order of Australia in 2018 for her services to breast cancer, is a pioneer in the field of breast cancer research.

Professor Chan’s driving focus has always been the needs of breast cancer patients and their families. Her work has led to worldwide improvements in the control of nausea and the protection of patients’ immune systems from the battering of chemotherapy. She’s also managed to ease the standard streaming eyes and nose that were once a miserable, if relatively minor, side effect of breast cancer treatment.

Reducing toxicity rates and fatigue in patients with advanced cancers is another aspect of breast cancer treatment Professor Chan is investigating.

All the results she’s had from various research projects and clinical trials combine to improve a patient’s lot.

Research over 20 years has revealed 5 different sub-types of cancer. Even patients with the same sub-types can respond to treatments differently, indicating further undiscovered subtleties.

There are now variations on the traditional treatments of chemotherapy and hormonal drugs, as well as newer “biological drugs” for breast cancer patients. Tailoring these to patients not only increases survival rates, but makes treatments safer and side effects less severe.