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A Randomised Comparison of Anastrozole Commenced Before and Continued During Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer Versus Anastrozole and Subsequent Anti-oestrogen Therapy Delayed Until After Radiotherapy.

Phase 3
18 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Breast Cancer

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Trial Information

A Randomised Comparison of Anastrozole Commenced Before and Continued During Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer Versus Anastrozole and Subsequent Anti-oestrogen Therapy Delayed Until After Radiotherapy.

Adjuvant radiotherapy is well established as the primary modality to enhance local control
in breast cancer. The use of adjuvant hormone therapy such as tamoxifen has shown to
improve local control to a relatively minor amount on its own and does enhance local control
of adjuvant radiotherapy. There is, however, conflicting invitro and clinical data
regarding the effects or different sequences on tamoxifen and radiotherapy in terms of both
local control and enhancement of radiotherapy toxicities.

Aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole are establishing themselves as a class of drug
superior to tamoxifen for the control of estrogen dependent breast cancers and overall are
better tolerated with the exception of greater bone loss.

As the key question is whether the sequencing of the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole alters
local control by acting as an enhancer of the radiation breast cancer cell kill, it is
therefore the aim of this study to compare 3 months of anastrozole prior to radiotherapy
versus 3 months of anastrozole after radiotherapy with a specific objective of reducing the
baseline ratio of in-field radiotherapy failure from 6% to 3%.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Women aged 18 years or older

- Post total mastectomy or lumpectomy. All planned cancer resection surgery complete.

- Histologic or pathologic reports must verify either:

- No tumour contacting the inked margin of surgically removed tissue, or

- Focal involvement (<2mm front) if the margin is at the deep (posterior part) of
the breast and the surgeon confirms that surgery extended to the deep fascia, or

- Focal involvement (<2mm front) if the margin is superficial (anterior part of
the breast or subcutaneous) and the surgeon confirms that surgery extended to
the subcutis NB: In the case of focally involved deep or superficial margins,
the medical records or multidisciplinary meeting notes or correspondence from
the surgeon must indicate that the surgeon confirms the surgery extended to the
deep fascia or subcutis as appropriate. Patients should routinely receive a
lumpectomy bed boost in the conserved breast setting if there is focal
superficial or focal deep involvement as defined above.

- Tumour oestrogen receptor and/or progesterone receptor positive (≥10% cells

- Radiotherapy not yet commenced

- Planned radiotherapy dose prescribed to ICRU reference points in the irradiated
breast / chest wall volumes at least the biological equivalent of 45 Gy in 25
fractions or more. (BED Gy4 ≥ 65, BED Gyx=D(1+n/x) where D=total dose, n=dose per
fraction, x=alpha beta ratio, Gy4 selected as appropriate alpha-beta ratio for human
breast cancer lines)

- An ECOG performance status score of 2 or less.

- Female and post menopausal shown by satisfying at least one of the following criteria
(as per the ATAC study criteria16):

- bilateral oophorectomy

- age greater than 60

- age 45-59 years with intact uterus and amenorrhoeic at least 12 months

- Amenorrhoeic less than 12 months with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels
within the post menopausal range (including patients with amenorrhoea due to
chemotherapy, LHRH use or who have had hormone replacement following
hysterectomy) Note: it is recommended for women under the age of 45 who have
been rendered menopausal by chemotherapy that they be enrolled onto the strata
which switches to Tamoxifen after the initial 3 months of anastrozole.

- Is not receiving chemotherapy, or is receiving chemotherapy but the course will be
completed at least 3 weeks prior to commencing radiotherapy

- Unilateral treatment

- Has provided written informed consent for participation in this trial

Exclusion Criteria:

- Previous radiotherapy to the area to be treated

- Previous invasive malignancy within 5 years of current breast cancer diagnosis with
the exception of cervix in-situ or skin cancer other than melanoma.

- Patients with clinical evidence of metastatic disease.

- Previous hormonal breast cancer therapy.

- Ongoing hormone replacement therapy

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

To determine if commencement of anastrozole prior to radiotherapy results in improved local control compared to anastrozole commenced after radiotherapy.

Outcome Time Frame:

10 years post radiotherapy

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Peter Graham, MBBS

Investigator Role:

Study Chair

Investigator Affiliation:

Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG)


Australia: Department of Health and Ageing Therapeutic Goods Administration

Study ID:

TROG 08.06



Start Date:

September 2009

Completion Date:

December 2024

Related Keywords:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Timing of Radiotherapy
  • Local control
  • Breast Neoplasms