A study looking at gene differences in people with breast cancer

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





This study is looking at how slight differences in your genes can affect breast cancer treatment.

We know from research that people handle and respond to drugs in different ways. This may be due to differences in certain proteins called genes.

Researchers will look at genes, including HER2, to see if they have different features in different people that affect how well their treatment works. They will look at blood and tissue samples to do this. In future, doctors may be able to use this information to see which type of treatment will work best for different people. The aims of this study are to

  • See how common these gene differences are
  • See how these differences affect response to the drug trastuzumab

You will not have any direct benefit from taking part in this study, and it will not change your treatment plan in any way. But the results of the study will be used to help people with cancer in the future.

Who can enter

You can enter this study if you

  • Have cancer that started in your breast (‘primary’ breast cancer)
  • Have been tested for a protein called ‘HER2’
  • Are at least 18 years of age

Trial design

This study will recruit 750 people. People taking part will give one or more samples of blood depending on their situation.

You will also give researchers permission to study samples of tissue previously removed from your breast.

Hospital visits

If you are not having trastuzumab, you will give one blood sample at a time convenient to you.

If you are having trastuzumab after a course of chemotherapy for early breast cancer, you will give a blood sample

  • Before your chemotherapy
  • After your chemotherapy, but before you start trastuzumab
  • During trastuzumab treatment

If you are having trastuzumab to control symptoms of advanced breast cancer, (palliative treatment) you will give a blood sample

  • Before you start trastuzumab
  • During trastuzumab treatment

Where possible, the team will take these samples when you are at the hospital already, so you should not need to make any extra visits to take part in this study.

Side effects

You may have a small bruise where you had your blood test. There are no other side effects in this study.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Mark Verrill

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Northern Institute for Cancer Research

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 2772

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Caroline took part in a clinical trial for breast cancer

“I had treatment last year and I want to give something back.”

Last reviewed:

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