Cochrane Breast Cancer Group

Proud of our long standing commitment to evidence on breast cancer

The internet has no shortage of advice and information on health and medicine, but much of it is conflicting, unsubstantiated, or biased. For reputable evidence on questions of health care many of us go to the international Cochrane Library. CTC is proud of its ongoing contribution over 20 years to Cochrane's work in the area of breast cancer.

Back in 1996, a small progressive group, including Davina Ghersi and John Simes from CTC (pictured), led the charge to cover issues for women with breast cancer. The Cochrane Breast Cancer Group was the first Cochrane group in Australia.

Few could have predicted then that in 2016 they would cover topics like targeted therapies for women with HER2-positive breast cancer, yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction, and breast surgery for women with metastatic cancer. Reviews are frequently used as part of the evidence base for clinical practice guidelines, but their first and most important task is to ensure that the topics selected are relevant and useful to readers.

Two important reviews have reported on important questions about effective radiotherapy treatments that minimise disruption to daily life. From here, you can link to the full reviews or convenient podcasts.

The Cochrane Breast Cancer Group after 20 years includes over 800 volunteers from diverse backgrounds-consumers, clinicians, methods experts, statisticians, surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, policy makers and consumers. They pioneered patient involvement across the board, inviting consumers to be authors, editors and peer reviewers. The coordinating editors are Nicholas Wilcken and Annabel Goodwin. John Simes and Davina Ghersi are still members of the board, and CTC's Melina Willson is managing editor.

The Cochrane Breast Cancer Group, like Cochrane generally, does not seek or accept any commercial funding. The group has been funded by the National Breast Cancer Centre (NBCC), the Department of Health and Ageing, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). A key milestone in the early 2000s was in securing a research grant from the Department of Defense (USA), allowing the group to tackle important aspects of metastatic breast cancer. Nicholas Wilcken and CTC's oncology co-director Martin Stockler developed Cochrane reviews on these topics, which flowed directly into Australian clinical guidelines.

28 September 2016