Condition category
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Not provided at time of registration

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Prof Julietta Patnick


Contact details

NHS Cancer Screening Programmes
Fulwood House
Old Fulwood Road
S10 3TH
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number


Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Pilot study of the feasibility and acceptability of randomising the phasing-in of the age extension of the NHS Breast Screening Programme in England


Study hypothesis

Currently all women are invited for breast screening between the ages of 50 and 70. In 2007 the Cancer Reform Strategy announced that from 2012 the NHS Breast Screening Programme would be extended to cover women between the ages of 47 and 73. This means that all women will get two extra screening invitations in their lifetime. It also means that all women will get their first invitation before age 50. As capacity does not allow for full immediate roll out across the whole of England, the age extension will be phased-in with full coverage from 2012. Randomising this phasing-in would provide unbiased evidence on the extent to which it is beneficial to extend the age range for breast screening and whether an extra screen at younger or older ages is more worthwhile. To date there is no clear evidence on this as no trial has looked at the added value of one extra screen within an existing screening programme. This pilot study will assess the feasibility and acceptability of randomising the phasing-in of the age extension in six volunteer sites in different areas of England.

As of 29/05/2009 this record was updated to include amendments to the anticipated trial dates; the initial trial dates were as follows:
Initial anticipated start date: 01/03/2009
Initial anticipated end date: 31/03/2010

Ethics approval

Added 29/05/2009: Approval obtained from Ealing and West London Research Ethics Committee in March 2009 (ref: 09/H0710/2)

Study design

Multicentre cluster randomised study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Breast screening


As part of the routine breast screening process, the National Breast Screening System (NBSS) creates screening invitation batches of about 1,000 women spanning ages 50 - 70 years. In this pilot study the NBSS will create batches of about 1,000 women aged 47 - 73 years. These batches (clusters) will be randomly allocated to one of two groups, that is, to include ages 47 - 70 or ages 50 - 73 years, instead of, as now, 50 - 70 years. The randomisation will be done with equal (50/50) probability and no stratification. Study participants are the women aged 47 - 49 years and 71 - 73 years in the screening invitation batches that include their age group. There will be of the order of 100 such women in each batch and about 36,000 in total across the 6 pilot sites. Women aged 50 - 70 years will be unaffected by the randomisation process as they are in the age group already eligible for routine screening, and their invitations for screening will continue as normal. Women aged 47 - 49 years who are not invited for screening as part of the pilot study may request to be screened if they live in a pilot area. Women aged over 70 are already able to request screening every 3 years.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

1. Screening uptake among women invited for screening in the extended age groups
2. Workload associated with inviting these new age groups for screening
3. Self-referrals among women in the pilot areas aged 47 - 49 years or 71 - 73 years but who were not invited for screening

Each of the pilot sites will be studied for up to 12 months. The measurement of the primary outcomes will be ongoing from soon after the start of the study. A final analysis and interpretation of the data will be conducted at the end of the study period.

Secondary outcome measures

No secondary outcome measures

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Study participants will be women living in one of the six pilot areas aged 47 - 49 years or 71 - 73 years and in a screening invitation batch that includes their age group.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

Does not comply with inclusion criteria

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

NHS Cancer Screening Programmes
S10 3TH
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of Oxford (UK)

Sponsor details

c/o Heather House
Clinical Trials and Research Governance
Manor House
John Radcliffe Hospital
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

NHS Breast Screening Programme National Office (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

1. 2011 results in

Publication citations

  1. Results

    Moser K, Sellars S, Wheaton M, Cooke J, Duncan A, Maxwell A, Michell M, Wilson M, Beral V, Peto R, Richards M, Patnick J, Extending the age range for breast screening in England: pilot study to assess the feasibility and acceptability of randomization., J Med Screen, 2011, 18, 2, 96-102, doi: 10.1258/jms.2011.011065.

Additional files

Editorial Notes