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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 22 January 2019

RUH Trust leads UK in global breast cancer trial

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has become the first site in the UK and Europe to recruit a patient to a worldwide study testing a new combination of drugs to treat breast cancer.

Dr Rebecca Bowen, RUH Consultant Medical Oncologist, who is leading the research study at the hospital, said: "We are delighted to be participating in such an interesting and important trial, allowing our patients to access future treatments which may further improve outcomes in metastatic breast cancer."

The global study is looking at the effectiveness of combining the leukaemia drug venetoclax with the cancer drug fulvestrant, compared with using fulvestrant alone in women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

Only a small number of cancer patients worldwide are suitable for the trial. So far, from 31 research sites in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, 16 patients have been enrolled. The study is also due to open in Germany. The target is to recruit 100 patients with an estimated completion date for the study in 2022.

Dr Tim Craft, Director of Research and Innovation at the RUH said: "This is great news for our patients and shows that we continue to strive to offer the opportunity to participate in leading edge research even when we are treating advanced disease. Well done to our oncology research team."

It is an important step for the research team at the RUH as it shows the Trust being able to set up and recruit rapidly to studies, helping to attract more clinical research companies to open trials at the RUH. This in turn gives RUH patients greater access to future cuttingedge treatments.

This study, known as the VERONICA oncology trial, is led by the pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche with Covance, a contract research organization.

Notes to Editor
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and is now working towards a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:

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