A study to help improve how doctors look for and monitor breast cancer (BSMS)

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 samples from women who have been called back after a screening mammogram, to see if information from substances in their blood could be used to help screen for and monitor breast cancer. This study is supported by Cancer Research UK.

More about this trial

We know that the earlier a cancer is found, the better the chance of successful treatment. Researchers in this study would like to develop a simple test to help doctors more easily spot an early breast cancer, or breast cancer that is coming back after treatment, to get the best possible outcome.

They will look at blood and tissue samples from women who have been asked to come back after a screening mammogram for further tests. They want to know if substances (biomarkers) in the bloodstream called nucleic acids can help with breast screening. They will compare these in all women who are called back.

They will see if there is a link between these biomarkers, mammogram results and findings from the tissue sample (biopsy) taken as part of routine tests. They want to see if these markers could help make the breast screening process more sensitive, specific and accurate.

The aim of this study is to see if biomarkers in the blood can

  • Help doctors find breast cancer earlier
  • Improve screening methods and how breast cancer is managed
  • Help with following up those with breast cancer in the clinic

You will not have any direct benefit from taking part in this study. But the results will be used to help women with breast cancer in the future.

Who can enter

If you are suitable to join this study, a member of the study team will ask if you would like to take part. Women taking part will

  • Have had a breast screening mammogram
  • Have been asked to come back for further tests at an assessment clinic at Charing Cross Hospital in London
  • Be at least 18 years old

You cannot enter this study if you

  • Have had any other cancer before, including another breast cancer
  • Have had a blood transfusion in the past
  • Have any condition that would make it difficult for you to understand the study, or may affect the results of the study - you can ask your doctor about this

The study team will also recruit female volunteers who have not been called back after breast screening, to compare their results with.

Trial design

This study will recruit 2,500 women.

Everyone will give 2 samples of blood for the study:

  • when you agree to take part
  • another between 3 months and 18 months later

The team will also ask permission for any breast tissue that you have removed.

If you are found to have breast cancer, the team will ask if you would be willing to give further blood samples when you come to hospital for routine blood tests. 

Hospital visits

You give your study blood samples when you come to hospital for a routine appointment.

Side effects

You may have a small bruise where you gave your blood sample.

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

Professor Charles Coombes

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Imperial College London
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Deborah wanted to help other breast cancer patients in the future

A picture of Deborah

“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."

Last reviewed:

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