Researchers at Frimley Health have been praised for their efforts with a study seeking to improve breast cancer treatments.

The Frimley Park Hospital team were among the top 10 recruiters to the Optima trial for 2023, out of more than 100 participating hospitals across the UK, Norway and Sweden.

Raouf Daoud, consultant surgeon and principal investigator at Frimley for the Optima trial, said: “I would like to thank Frimley Park’s Breast multi-disciplinary team for all the hard work, and our research team, especially Tracy Foster, research nurse, for her constant efforts, communicating with patients and the Breast team to make us one of the top recruiters for this study.” 

The study aims to improve the way doctors decide who needs chemotherapy as part of treatment for breast cancer.

Following surgery, chemotherapy followed by hormone therapy is often used to reduce the chances of the cancer returning. However, some patients will do just as well with hormone tablets alone.

The Optima trial is using a new test which examines a sample of cancer tissue removed during surgery. It studies 50 genes in the cancer cells and how they work, to pick out patients who need chemotherapy and identify those who would get no benefit from that treatment.

“We may be able to reduce our use of chemotherapy by up to 80 per cent without having any effect on rates of successful treatment, which would spare many patients from going through the ordeal of this treatment,” said an Optima spokesperson.

Across the trust sites, Frimley Health is currently researching 19 separate studies looking to improve treatments for breast and prostate cancer, as well as leukaemia.