The EORTC Breast Cancer Group (BCG) is a multidisciplinary group aiming to challenge, re-define and develop standards of care in all controversial areas of Breast Cancer diagnosis and therapy, including rare conditions such as male breast cancer. The group researches long-term outcomes and follows all patients until they die.

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.
  • There are currently limited treatment options for patients with HR+ Early Breast Cancer who have discontinued adjuvant treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) due to treatment-related toxicity. Launched the AMEERA-6 3 phase III study of Amcenestrant
    versus tamoxifen to treat these patients. Recruitment opens in 2022 to screen 4 670 participants and randomly assign 3 738 to the intervention.
  • 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 ongoing
    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.

10981 (AMAROS)

  • Project under finalization/finalized
    RP 1463 (SNB nomogram): Predicting Sentinel Node Positivity using data of the EORTC 10981-22023 AMAROS trial: who can be spared sentinel lymph node biopsy (project leader: E. Rutgers)
    Status: Finalized (presented at EORTC-BCG meeting in Paris, Sept 2017).

10085 (MALE BC)

  • Projects under development
    ERP 277: Pathology biomarkers of Male BC (project leader: J. Bartlett)
    Status: Database to be transferred.
  • Projects ongoing
    • 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 analyses to follow.
    • 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: Samples currently analysed.
  • Project under finalization/finalized
    Male BC Precursor lesions (project leader: C. van Deurzen)
    Status: Manuscript published in Modern Pathology in 2017.

10041 (MINDACT)-related projects

  • Projects under development
    • RP 18XX (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 approved.
    • RP 1550 (MINDACT Relapses): Dissecting the pathways of therapy resistance in early breast cancer: A substudy of the EORTC 10041/BIG 3-04 MINDACT study. (Project leaders: F. Cardoso, M. Piccart, E. Rutgers, G. Viale, L. Van’t Veer, K. Aalders, C. Desmedt)
      Status: Substudy under protocol review.
    • ERP 282 (MINDACT SCNA/ Immune on 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: Data transfer agreement signed. Awaiting Ethical Committee approval.
    • ERP XXX (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, E. Senkus-Konefka)
      Status: Data transfer agreement under signature. Clinical data ready to be transferred, genomic data pending.
    • ERP XXX (MINDACT FGFR1/CCND1): Fine tuning Mammaprint with DNA-based approaches: prognostic value of FGFR1/CCND1 amplifications in patients with luminal high risk BC (Project leaders: F. Andre, S. Michiels)
      Status: Project approved. Contract under negotiation.
    • ERP XXX (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, on hold until reassessment of sample availability.
  • Projects ongoing
    • RP 1761 (MINDACT Integrated model): Assessing the prognostic value of MammaPrint on top of Traditional Clinical/Pathologic Criteria (Project leader: F. Cardoso).
      Status: Ongoing.
    • RP 1806 (MINDACT Biological heterogeneity): Understanding the biological heterogeneity of HER-2 positive breast cancer (Project leader: F. Cardoso)
      Status: Ongoing.
    • ERP 262 (MINDACT iCOGS): Associations of iCOGS germline variants with clinico-pathological and expression data in the MINDACT study (Project leader: M. Schmidt)
      Status: Clinical database transferred to external investigator in April 2017, genomic data pending
    • ERP XXX (MINDACT EBCTCG): 7th cycle (2015-2020) overview of randomised trials in early breast cancer (EBCTCG) (Project leader: E. Rutgers)
      Status: Contract under signature. Data ready to be transferred.
  • Projects under finalization/finalized
    • 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.
    • RP 1717 (MINDACT Young): The use of 70-gene signature in young women with early stage breast cancer-a subgroup analysis from the EORTC 10041/BIG 03-04 MINDACT trial (Project leader: K. Aalders).
      Status: Project presented at SABCS 2017 (poster). Manuscript under preparation.
    • 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: K. Tryfonidis)
      Status: Project presented at ESMO 2017 (press release and oral presentation). Manuscript finalized, to be submitted to Breast.
    • RP 1464 (MINDACT Survey): A survey among Mindact investigators on their current opinion regarding chemotherapy administration (Project leaders: C. Drukker and J. Lopes Cardozo)
      Status: Two questionnaires submitted to investigators. One was analyzed and presented at IMPAKT 2015 (poster). The second questionnaire will be analyzed in Q3-Q4 2018.
    • ERP 265 (MINDACT cost-effectiveness): Cost-effectiveness Analysis of the MammaPrint based on MINDACT results (Project leader: V. Retel)
      Status: Project presented as poster at SABCS 2017. Further analysis ongoing.
    • RP 1556 (MINDACT multifocal): Characterisation of multifocal disease in the MINDACT study (Project leaders: E. Rutgers, A. Kuijer, M. Straver, K. Aalders).
      Status: Manuscript published in European Journal of Cancer in 2017.
    • RP 0907 (TargetPrint): Comparison of microarray readout with IHC/FISH for ER/PR/HER2 (Project leaders: F. de Snoo, L. Stork-Sloots)
      Status: Manuscript published in Breast Cancer Res Treat 2016.
    • RP 0906 (Blue Print): comparison of microarray readout with IHC/FISH for to molecular subtyping profile (BluePrint) (Project leaders: F. Cardoso, G. Viale, F. de Snoo, L. Russo, L. Stork-Sloots)
      Status: Manuscript published in Breast Cancer Res Treat 2017.
    • ERP 179 (MINDACT Lifestyle questionnaire): Association of established breast cancer reproductive and lifestyle risk factors with tumour subtype defined by the prognostic 70-gene expression signature (MammaPrint® (Project leaders: M.Schmidt, C.Drukker)
      Status: Manuscript published in European Journal of Cancer in 2017

10994 (p53)-related projects

  • Projects ongoing
    • RP 1432 (LINE): Improving outcomes with Next generation sequencing Experiments of the residual disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. (project leader: H. Bonnefoi).
      Status: Ongoing.
    • RP 1476: Pooled analysis of prognostic factors of relapse after pCR in neoadjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer. (Project leader: H. Bonnefoi).
      Status: Ongoing.
    • ERP 290 (p53 BMI): BMI and site of relapse (project leader: C. Desmedt)
      Status: Database transferred to external investigator.
    • ERP 319: Concomitant medication in p53 (project leader: A.S. Hamy)
      Status: Database transferred to external investigator.
  • Projects under finalization/finalized
    • RP 1646 (p53- Site first distant relapse): Association between pCR status and site of first distant relapse after surgery in patients with a distant relapse: a substudy of the EORTC 10994/BIG1-00 trial. (project leader: K. Aalders)
      Status: Manuscript accepted in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment in January 2018 .
    • RP 1644 (p53-LocoReg): Predictive factors of locoregional recurrence after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer: a retrospective analysis of the EORTC 10994/BIG1-02 study (Project leader: H. Bonnefoi)
      Status: Manuscript published in European Journal of Cancer in 2017.
    • RP 1543 (Molecular Apocrine): pathological response and clinical outcomes of molecular apocrine tumors in EORTC 10994/BIG 1-00 phase III study identified by central assessment using a tissue microarray construct (project leader: H. Bonnefoi).
      Status: Manuscript under preparation.
    • RP 1480 IRF7 and severe infection: Correlation between severe infection and breast cancer metastases in the EORTC TP53 trial: investigating innate immunity as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer (project leaders: S.Loi, H.Bonnefoi, D.Cameron)
      Status: Manuscript published in European Journal of Cancer in 2017.
    • RP Patterns of relapse after pCR (project leaders: H.Bonnefoi, D.Cameron)
      Status: Manuscript published in European Journal of Cancer in 201 5.
    • RP Role of selected gene polymorphisms on response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and survival of breast cancer patients (project leaders: J.Robert, H.Bonnefoi).
      Status: Manuscript published in Pharmacogenomics in 201 5.
    • RP Molecular subtypes: Pathological complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy is an independent predictive factor irrespective of simplified breast cancer intrinsic subtypes (project leaders: H.Bonnefoi)
      Status: Manuscript published in Annals of Oncology in 2014 .
    • ERP 215: Causal Inference (project leader: S. Vandenberghe)
      Status: Manuscript published in Statistical Methods in Medical Research in April 2017 .

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

  • F. Cardoso - Lisbon, PT


    Champalimaud Cancer Center

  • E. Rutgers - Amsterdam, NL


    The Netherlands Cancer Institute
    Antoni van Leeuwenhoekziekenhuis

  • I. Meattini - Firenze, IT

    ROSC Liaison

    Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi

  • T. Marinko - Ljubljana, SI

    ROSC Liaison

    The Institute Of Oncology

  • 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

  • J. Lopes Cardozo - , NL

    Chair Y-ECI


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