31 March 2020


The POSNOC trial is a clinical research trial available in NZ looking at the armpit treatment provided to women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and will help determine if axillary dissection is no longer needed meaning that some wāhine/women will be able to avoid unnecessary treatment and long term side effects of treatments.

POSNOC is of considerable importance in terms of improving outcomes for women with breast cancer and also in understanding breast biology.

Scientific Title

Protocol RD-5103-001-13: POsitive Sentinel NOde: adjuvant therapy alone versus adjuvant therapy plus Clearance or axillary radiotherapy. A randomised controlled trial of axillary treatment in women with early stage breast cancer who have metastases in one or two sentinel nodes or “POSNOC trial”.


Wāhine/women with early breast cancer that has spread to one or two lymph glands receive chemotherapy or endocrine therapy (hormone therapy), or both. These treatments are called adjuvant therapy.

Alongside adjuvant therapy some wāhine/women also have axillary dissection/clearance (radical armpit surgeries). With the advancement of drug treatments that are very good at preventing breast cancer reoccurring axillary dissection/clearance may no longer be needed.


This UK based trial will involve 1900 women across the UK, Australia and NZ. Waikato, Rotorua and Palmerston North Hospitals will be centres for this research.

Ask your Breast Surgeon or Oncologist if this trial is suitable for you.