Information about the NSABP
(Excerpted from the NSABP website)
The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) is a cooperative group that was formed in 1971 to conduct clinical trials in breast cancer and colorectal cancer research. The members of this cooperative group had been involved in collaborative research since 1958. During this 40-year period, over 50,000 women and men were enrolled in NSABP clinical trials.
Current NSABP membership includes nearly 300 medical centers in the United States, Canada and Australia. Over 6000 physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals in the NSABP member institutions and their satellites conduct NSABP treatment and prevention trials. Members as a group represent a wide range of institutional types: major medical centers, university hospitals, large oncology practice groups, and health maintenance organizations. The majority are non-university centers which can make state-of-the-art clinical trials available to patients near their homes.
Institutional members conduct NSABP clinical trials including enrollment, protocol treatment, and submission of data for subjects and participants. Both the geographic accessibility to NSABP trials and the NSABP's track record of conducting clinically relevant, important, well-designed studies have contributed substantially to its success. In 1997, NSABP treatment trial members enrolled more than 3,000 breast and colorectal cancer patients in 7 treatment trials. During the height of recruitment to the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial, more than 9,000 participants were enrolled during a 12-month period.
The National Cancer Institute is the primary source of funding for NSABP Member institutions to conduct NSABP clinical trials. The Foundation also receives support from other sources for ancillary studies, training and educational programs.
Results from NSABP clinical trials have been a major factor in altering breast cancer management. The most obvious change in the treatment of the disease has been the reduction in the extent of the operative procedures. NSABP trials were the first to demonstrate that the radical mastectomy was no more effective than less extensive procedures. After 10 years of follow-up, an NSABP study shows that patients treated by lumpectomy (a breast-conserving procedure) followed by breast irradiation (radiotherapy or chemotherapy) have a survival prognosis similar to those treated by mastectomy. Due in large part to these findings, a National Institutes of Health consensus conference recommended that lumpectomy and breast irradiation be the procedure of choice for women with primary breast cancer.
The NSABP trials were among the first to evaluate the worth of systemic adjuvant chemotherapy for the treatment of breast cancer. Subsequent studies have evaluated hormonal therapies as well. Results from these trials indicated that such therapies reduce the recurrence rate of breast cancer and improve survival.
The NSABP is conducting studies to evaluate the use of preoperative therapy in the treatment of breast cancer. The aim of these trials is not only to improve survival rates but also to reduce or eliminate the need for breast cancer surgery.
NSABP's breast cancer prevention trial (BCPT) found a 49% decrease in the incidence of invasive breast cancer in women at increased risk for the disease who took tamoxifen therapy in comparison to those who received placebo instead. The BCPT study showed that women on tamoxifen also had fewer diagnoses of noninvasive breast cancer, such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
Women who wish to receive information about the STAR trial can contact the NSABP by postal mail (NSABP, Box 21, Pittsburgh, PA 15261); by fax (412.330.4660), or at the NSABP website (www.nsabp.pitt.edu).
NSABP Operations Center
East Commons Professional Building
Four Allegheny Center - 5th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5234
Updated: July 2006