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16th January 2024 Latest News Breast Cancer

Using patient perspectives to improve cancer care

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Putting breast cancer patients at the forefront of their treatment journey through a self-reporting model could lead to higher survival rates, an Adelaide study will explore.

Armed with a grant from The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group, Dr Ashley Hopkins from Flinders University will lead a study investigating how self-reporting tools may lead to improved quality of life.

Dr Hopkins said the project could significantly impact patient care by providing world-first evidence of the potential of patient-reported outcomes (PRO) for those with breast cancer.

He said the use of PROs would help clinicians provide more personalized treatments as they gain a better understanding of the patient’s experience through their cancer journey.

“(PRO) tools and questionnaires offer a unique way to gather the patient perspective. While they are commonly used in clinical trials to assess the quality-of-life impacts of interventions, their use in real-world settings is limited,” Dr Hopkins said.

“There is emerging evidence that PROs can predict survival and toxicity outcomes of anticancer medications for the individual and help identify modifiable risk factors for the patient.

“This project aims to leverage big data to explore these potentials for patients with breast cancer.”

The study builds on previous work undertaken by Dr Hopkins, which was also funded by THRF Group.

Completed in 2023, the study focused on using big data sets to assess how other medicine impacts the results of breast cancer treatment.

Dr Hopkins said by collaborating with pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Roche, the team will have access to a world-leading data source for this latest study.

“Collaborating with major pharmaceutical companies and accessing their world-class data marks a significant milestone for our team,” he said.

“These databases are invaluable, offering insights into various treatments that could benefit patients not only in Australia but around the world.

“Having transparent access is a major advancement in our research capabilities and positions our team to potentially make a significant impact in the field of breast cancer treatment.”

With the study set to commence in March, THRF Group looks forward to updating our donors as it progresses.