The EORTC Breast Cancer Group (BCG) is a group of the most important academic hospitals in Europe aiming to develop new standards of care for breast cancer patients through innovation. Our research focus is the evaluation of innovative treatments and multidisciplinary approaches to increase survival and improve the quality of life of all breast cancer patients.

Main Achievements

  • Launched the TREAT 1 phase III trial to identify ER+HER2- early breast cancer patients at high risk of relapse via detection of ctDNA and to establish a new treatment strategy to prevent or delay the occurrence of distant metastasis. The trial will open for recruitment by end 2022 and will screen 1 960 patients.
  • Launched NOBLE 2, a non-comparative phase II trial of neoadjuvant olaparib with or without durvalumab for patients with BRCA-associated triple negative breast cancer. The trial will open for recruitment in 2022 with a total of 144 patients to enroll.
  • Launched the APPALACHES 4 phase II trial to examine the role of Palbociclib in combination with endocrine therapy as adjuvant systemic treatment instead of chemotherapies regimen in older patients with early breast cancer. Accrual has proceeded swiftly to meet enrollment goals.
  • Developed three dedicated working groups to identify new trial ideas for locoregional treatment, breast cancer in the elderly and new drugs. Also enhanced our collaboration with the Quality-of-Life Group in three studies.

1 EORTC-2129-BCG
2 EORTC-1984-BCG
3 EORTC-2033-BCG

Demonstrated breast-conserving therapy has similar efficacy compared to mastectomy (EORTC 10801). &

Showed that chemotherapy before or after surgery yielded similar results in terms of survival (EORTC 10902). &

Demonstrated that axillary radiotherapy after a positive sentinel lymph node provides excellent and comparable regional control when compared to axillary lymph node dissection, with the benefit of decreased morbidity (AMAROS).

Demonstrated that in some early-stage breast cancer, patients traditionally deemed high risk for disease recurrence based on clinical and biological criteria can have chemotherapy safely omitted without a difference in outcome, in case of a low-risk 70-gene signature result (MINDACT).

Related Projects

10054 (LAPATAX)
  • Project completed:
    ERP 307: Long-term follow-up to be included in CTNeoBC pCR meta-analysis in HER2+ trials. (Project leader: H. Bonnefoi)
    Status: Database transferred to external group in August 2017. Poster presented at SABCS 2019. Two manuscripts have been published to Journal of Clinical Oncology.
10981 (AMAROS)
  • Projects ongoing:
    RP2220 (Project leader: S Bartels). The role of ultrasound in staging of the axilla in patients with breast cancer.
    Status: Project approved in May 2022. Data transfer has been executed in July 2022. Analysis is under finalization.
    RP2052 (Project leader: M Van de Poll-Franse, B Holzner). EORTC BALANCE (Big dAta in patients with breast cANCEr: risk prognosis for clinically relevant impairments of health related quality of life based on Machine Learning).
    Status: Research project funded by the EORTC QLG group. Data transfers from AMAROS and Elderly studies are under evaluation.
    Data sharing Id805: The meta-analysis of Patent Blue efficacy and Safety (project leader: Provepharm, S Gagnon).
    Status: Data transfer executed in February 2023.
    ERP 52B (EBCTCG): 7th cycle (2015-2020) overview of randomized trials in early breast cancer (EBCTCG). (Project leader: E. Rutgers)
    Status: Database transferred to external group in May 2018. Preliminary results of the meta-analysis including AMAROS data were presented during the EBCTCG meeting in June 2018. Updated data transfer with 10-year data performed in May 2023. Analysis is under finalization.
    ERP 370: Individual patient data meta-analysis and indirect comparison of AMAROS and ACOSOG Z011 (Project leader: M. Schmidt).
    Status:  Data transfer will be performed in 2 steps, first to assess the patient populations from AMAROS and ACOSOG Z011 and assess relevance to conduct the IPD meta-analysis second, to transfer clinical outcomes for IPD meta-analysis. Data transfer for the first step has been executed in July 2022. Data transfer for the second step has been executed in March 2023.
10085 (MALE BC)
  • Projects under finalization
    RP 1854 (Oncomine): Profiling Male Breast Cancers using the Oncomine Comprehenisve Assay. (Project leader: M. Spears)
    Status: Samples were analyzed. The abstract with bioinformatics results has been presented at San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2019. Manuscript is under preparation.
    RP 1539 (RNAseq): Male breast cancer RNA sequencing. (Project leader: J. Martens)
    Status: Analyses of first 73 patients completed, presented at SABCS 2017 (poster spotlight). Additional samples were analyzed. Further analyses are ongoing.
    RP 1703 (BCRF2016 Grant: NANOSTRING/SETER-PR): International Male Breast Cancer Program of EORTC/TBCRC/BIG/NABCG: understanding the biology for improved patient care. In research of valuable biomarkers. (Project leaders: F. Cardoso, J. Bartlett and F. Symmans)
    Status: NANOSTRING part: The results of first analysis have been presented as a poster at SABCS 2018. Analyses have been finalized; manuscript has been published in npJBrest. SETER PR part: Analyses have been finalized; manuscript is in preparation by the study investigator. Abstract has been presented to SABCS 2022.
10041 (MINDACT)
  • Projects under development
    RP 1806 (MINDACT Biological heterogeneity): Understanding the biological heterogeneity of HER-2 positive breast cancer. (Project leader: F. Cardoso)
    Status: Project approved, currently on hold.
    MINDACT cRNA: Leveraging cancer-specific circulating RNAs for early detection of breast cancer in liquid biopsies. (Project leaders: H. Goodarzi, H. Asgharian)
    Status: Project approved, currently on hold.
  • Ongoing projects
    MIND-012: Redefining the relationship between MammaPrint Index classification and Biology disease outcome (Project Leader: Lorenza Mittempergher).
    Status: ExCO approved, contract in draft
    MIND-013: The effect of age stratification on clinical outcome in the different risk groups within MINDACT (Project Leader: Miranda Kleijn).
    Status: ExCO approved, contract in draft to share data to a third-party statistician
    RP 2239: Dissecting the impact of intratumor heterogeneity on relapse of clinical high-risk and genomic low-risk luminal breast cancer: A translational research project of the EORTC 10041/BIG 3-04 MINDACT clinical trial (Project leaders: C. Desmedt, C. Sotiriou).
    The main goal of the current proposal is to map tumor and immune cell architecture in patients with hormone receptor positive/ HER2-negative (HR+/HER2-) breast cancer (BC) enrolled in the MINDACT study by applying spatial transcriptomics, single nuclei RNA sequencing and immune phenotyping.
    Status: ExCO approved, contract in signature.
    RP1934 (MINDACT Lobular working group): Integrative molecular and clinical approach to improve diagnosis, therapy and outcome of invasive lobular breast cancer using MINDACT data. (Project leaders: F. Cardoso, O. Metzger, C. Desmedt, S. Linn)
    Part 1: Description of clinical data was presented at EBCC 2020 (oral presentation). Manuscript reporting clinical data under review.
    Part 2: Analysis of molecular data finalized: abstract presented at SABCS 2022. Manuscript under preparation.
    Part 3: Analysis of samples from patients with lobular breast cancer ongoing
    MIND-015: Mammaprint gene signature and molecular subtype characteristics of HER2 low early breast cancer: an analysis of EORTC 10041/BIG 3-04 MINDACT trial (Project leader: Gustavo Werutsky)
    Status: ExCO approved, contract under review.
    MIND-018: Digital features of breast cancer heterogeneity and outcome prediction (Project leaders: H. Horlings, F. Hilbers and L. Van’t Veer)
    Status: ExCO approved, contract under review
    MIND-019: Administered chemotherapy regimens and outcome of the patients with HR+/HER2- breast cancer benefiting from adjuvant chemotherapy according to Mammaprint: substudy of the MINDACT trial (Project leader: K. Zaman)
    Status: ExCO approved, EORTC internal review approved.
  • Projects under finalization/finalized
    MIND-003 (MINDACT single receptor positive): Are single hormone receptor positive breast cancers genetically and clinically distinct from other types of breast cancer? (Project leaders: E. Senkus-Konefka, M Kunc)
    Status: Clinical and genomic data transferred. Abstract presented to EBCC 2022.
    MIND-004 (MINDACT BRCAness): BRCAness, MP1/2 subtypes and Outcome after capecitabine-containing chemotherapy. (Project leaders: M. Kok, R. Bernards, S. Linn)
    Status: Clinical and genomic data transferred and project ongoing. Waiting publication.
    MIND-006: Validation of gene profile that predicts resistance to docetaxel-containing chemotherapy in MammaPrint high-risk breast cancer (Project leader: M. Kok, S. Linn)
    Status: Clinical and genomic data transferred and project ongoing. Waiting publication.
    MIND-008 (positive node): Genomic risk as an aid to treatment decisions in patients with positive sentinel lymph nodes and conservative management of the axilla (no axillary dissection). (Project leaders: A. Sonnenblick, M. Lambertini)
    Status: Project ongoing
    MIND-011: Cost-effectiveness analysis of Mammaprint in a UK setting based on the MINDACT 2020 data cut-off (Project Leader: Caroline van der Meijden)
    Status: Data has been transferred and project ongoing. Publication in preparation.
    ERP 282 (MINDACT SCNA/ Immune in silico): Investigation of the downstream effect of somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs) on gene expression levels in relation to clinic-pathological variables / Prognostic value of in silico immune phenotypes in the MINDACT trial. (Project leaders: C. Sotiriou, R. Fehrmann)
    Status:  Clinical and genomic data transferred and project ongoing. Waiting publication.
    ERP 334 (MINDACT BMI): Characterization of the body mass index (BMI), its effect on recurrence dynamics and tumor transcriptomics in the MINDACT trial. (Project leaders: C. Desmedt)
    Status: Project completed. Clinical data and genomic data transferred. Abstract presented to SABCS 2022. Manuscript published in Nature Communication in July 2023.
    ERP 52c (MINDACT EBCTCG): 7th cycle (2015-2020) overview of randomised trials in early breast cancer (EBCTCG). (Project leader: E. Rutgers)
    Status: Project completed: Manuscript published in Lancet Oncology in April 2023.
    RP 1718 (MINDACT Loco-regional recurrences): Prognostic value of the 70-gene signature for locoregional breast cancer recurrence in the EORTC 10041/BIG 3-04 (MINDACT) trial. (Project leaders: E. Rutgers, K. Aalders)
    Status: Project presented at EBCC 2018 as oral presentation. Analysis completed with updated data. Manuscript submitted to Journal of Clinical Oncology
    RP 1465 (MINDACT Small tumors): Characterization of patients with small size invasive breast tumors with no axillary lymph nodal involvement: A subset analysis of patients with T1a,bN0 tumors enrolled in the MINDACT trial. (Project leader: F. Hilbers)
    Status: Project presented at ESMO 2017 (press release and oral presentation). Analysis and manuscript are currently updated with updated long-term data.
    RP 1464 (MINDACT Survey): A survey among Mindact investigators on their current opinion regarding chemotherapy administration. (Project leaders: C. Drukker, J. Lopes Cardozo)
    Status: Project completed. Two questionnaires submitted to investigators. One was analyzed and presented at IMPAKT 2015 (poster). Final report of the second part was finalized. An additional questionnaire has been sent to the responders to assess any change over time in assessing risk of recurrence and recommendation to treat patients with chemotherapy 15 years after the introduction of prognostic gene signatures. Final report of the third part was finalized. Abstract was submitted at EBCC 2022. Manuscript was published to the Breast in May 2023.
    ERP 179 (MINDACT Lifestyle): Assessment of lifestyle and environment information for gene-environment-tumor type interaction studies within the randomized breast cancer trial ‘MINDACT. (Project leaders: C. Drukker, M. Schmidt, E Rutgers, L Van’t Veer)
    Status: Results on BMI and reproductive factors were published in EJC in 2017. Further analysis is ongoing to assess the relation between high and low risk breast cancer according to MammaPrint and lifestyle- and environmental risk factors.
10994 (p53)
  • Projects ongoing
    RP 1922 (p53 and immune biomarkers): TP53 mutational status and its effect on tumor-host immune interactions in early breast cancer. (Project leader: J. Bergh)
    Status: Sample transferred to Karolinska in May 2019, results available in January 2021. Clinical data have been transferred in March 2022. Analyses completed at Karolinska, publication of results in preparation. Abstract accepted as a poster presentation at ESMO 2023.
    RP 1476: Pooled analysis of prognostic factors of relapse after pCR in neoadjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer. (Project leader: H. Bonnefoi)
    Status: On hold.
    ERP 290 (p53 BMI): BMI and site of relapse. (Project leader: C. Desmedt)
    Status: Database transferred to external investigator in April 2017. Waiting publication.
    ERP 319: Concomitant medication in p53. (Project leader: A.S. Hamy)
    Status: Database transferred to external investigator in January 2018. Waiting publication.
  • Data sharing Id822: Adjusting for informative cluster size in pseudo-value based regression approaches with clustered time to event data (Project leader: Samuel C Anyaso).
    Status: Data transferred in February 2023. Waiting publication.
    Data sharing Id851: Survival control charts to monitor the performance of centres: an application to EORTC trial 10854. (Project leader: Marta Fiocco).
    Status: project approved. Data transfer performed in Aug 2022. Waiting publication.

Research Group

Group documents
  • Chair - Chair New Drug TF

    Michail Ignatiadis

    Institut Jules Bordet

    Brussels, Belgium

  • Secretary - Chair Loco regional TF

    Frederieke van Duijnhoven

    The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni Van Leeuwenhoekziekenhuis

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Treasurer

    Monica Arnedos

    Institut Bergonie

    Villejuif, France

Steering Committee

  • H. Bonnefoi - Bordeaux, FR


    Institut Bergonie

  • D. Cameron - Edinburgh, GB

    BIG President

    Western General Hospital

  • B. Linderholm - Goteborg, SE

    SABO representative

    Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuet

  • K. Pogoda - Warsaw, PL

    QLG Liaison

    Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Centre

  • E. Senkus-Konefka - Gdansk, PL


    Medical University Of Gdansk

  • E. Brain - Paris, FR

    Chair Elderly TF

    Institut Curie – Hopital Rene Huguenin

  • E. Rutgers - Amsterdam, NL


    The Netherlands Cancer Institute
    Antoni van Leeuwenhoekziekenhuis

  • I. Meattini - Firenze, IT

    ROSC Liaison

    Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi

  • O. Kaidar-Person - Haifa, IL

    ROSC Liaison

    Rambam Health Care Campus, Oncology Institute

  • H. Wildiers - Leuven, BE


    U.Z. Leuven

  • G. Sonke - Amsterdam, NL


    The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni Van Leeuwenhoekziekenhuis

  • F. Bidard - Paris, FR


    Institut Curie

  • D. Taylor - Namur, BE


    CHU UCLouvain Namur

  • N. Luca Battisti - London, GB

    Responsible Twitter account

    The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

  • K. Punie - Leuven, BE

    Responsible Twitter account

    UZ Leuven

  • W. Janni - Ulm, DE

    SUCCESS chair

    Universitätsklinikum Ulm

  • C. Sotiriou - Brussels, BE

    TR specialist

    Institut Jules Bordet

  • B. Pistilli - Villejuif, FR


    Gustave Roussy

  • G. Werutsky - Porto Alegre, BR

    Representative LACOG

    Latin American Cooperative Oncology Group

  • J. Bartlett - Toronto, CA

    TR Specialist

    Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

  • I. Zerdes - Stockholm, SE

    Chair Y-ECI

    Karolinska University Hospital

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