Biotech creating a new therapy for hot flushes in breast cancer patients launches clinical trials in Auckland and Christchurch.

Australian biotechnology company QUE Oncology has now completed its Phase II trials which will see its novel non-hormonal therapy, for women with breast cancer suffering hot flushes and night sweats, tested across at least three sites in New Zealand.

After a diagnosis of breast cancer, women are routinely prescribed drugs such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors (known as endocrine therapy) for up to 10 years post-diagnosis. These drugs are known to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer by reducing or blocking the action of estrogen, a hormone known to stimulate the growth of breast cancer. However, the most common side-effect of reducing estrogen is an increased likelihood of severe hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms can severely impact a women’s quality of life including their quality of sleep often causing them to stop taking their breast cancer treatment. QUE Oncology is looking to develop a therapy to address these debilitating symptoms.

Christchurch Clinical Studies Trust Medical Director Dr Chris Wynne, a specialist Oncologist with over 30 years’ experience caring for breast cancer patients and survivors is the Principal Investigator leading QUE Oncology’s New Zealand clinical trials.

Dr Wynne says, “Most people don’t fully understand the significant impact of hot flushes and night sweats on these women. They can be debilitating and negatively affect the overall quality of life for women already impacted by breast cancer. There is a desperate need for new treatments and this trial will allow New Zealand women to contribute to the development of one of the most cutting-edge supportive therapies currently in development.”

QUE Oncology's Phase II study of Q-122, recruited patients at Christchurch Clinical Studies Trust in Christchurch as well as Auckland City Hospital and Optimal Clinical Trials in Auckland.

Several clinical studies with Q-122 have shown the drug to be safely administered to over 60 patients and healthy volunteers. In a previous Phase 1b trial in women undergoing estrogen reduction therapy for breast cancer, 85 per cent of women showed a reduction in both the frequency and severity of their hot flushes.

QUE Oncology’s products also have the potential to expand into related conditions, such as hot flushes associated with menopause.

Women interested in participating in QUE Oncology’s clinical trials should visit or email their enquiries to

15 May 2023

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