A new clinical study that aims to better understand the biology and treatment of young women with cancer is being lead by Peter Mac's Professor Sherene Loi.

Coordinated in Australia through Breast Cancer Trials, OLIO has been funded through a $4.9 million grant from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), which supports high quality research, and novel and innovative treatments.

For unknown reasons, young women with breast cancer have a higher rate of recurrence and death from the disease. Outcomes vary across breast cancer subtypes, but they are relatively poorer for patients with HR+HER2- breast cancers.

A genomic analysis of 1,293 breast cancer samples diagnosed from young premenopausal women has identified a new drug target that may improve their outcomes.

“The only way we can improve outcomes for this group of young women with low breast cancer survival rates, is to conduct clinical trials where we are focusing on specific biological features unique to these women,” Professor Loi said.

“The OLIO trial will evaluate a specific diagnostic and therapeutic approach for young women with early-stage HR+ breast cancer who are premenopausal.

A new pathology test that will help identify specific biological features from the patient’s tumour sample will be developed by investigators at Peter Mac.

“If successful, the trial could deliver an improved approach to treatment of breast cancer in young women, who have a high risk of relapse and death from breast cancer, and improved patient outcomes.”

The project also aims to collect a bank of biological specimens for use in future research on young women’s health.

Congratulations also to Professor Michael Jefford is on the team for another successful MRFF grant being led by QUT.