Advancing Breast Cancer Care through clinical trials research. Discover his work as a Clinician Researcher specialising in breast cancer.

About Dr Zdenkowski

Dr Nicholas Zdenkowski is a Medical Oncologist and Medical Advisor with Breast Cancer Trials (BCT).

He sits on the international PALLAS Trial Steering Committee and is the Chair of the BCT Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

Members of our SAC include researchers from a range of disciplines, such as medical oncology, surgery, radiation oncology, pathology, psycho-oncology, statistics and consumers. The SAC is responsible for the strategic review of potential new clinical trial questions, current practices, and patient groups to determine gaps and opportunities for future clinical trials.

Dr Zdenkowski contributes to BCT through his work on a broad range of breast cancer research, including shared decision-making, clinical trials both past and current, and patient-reported outcomes, particularly around neoadjuvant systemic therapy. He was the project lead in the development of the Neoadjuvant Patient Decision Aid.

Dr Nicholas Zdenkowski is the BCT Study Chair of the IBIS-II clinical trial, which was a prevention study looking at the use of anastrozole vs placebo in post-menopausal women with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Results from a new analysis of the IBIS-II clinical trial were presented at the 2023 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, and in this new analysis, there was a clear trend of increasing breast cancer risk with increasing hormone levels in the placebo group, but not in the anastrozole group.

A 55% reduction of risk of developing cancer was seen in three quarters of the women receiving anastrozole, but a lower reduction was seen in those with the lowest oestradiol/sex hormone binding globulin.


Dr Zdenkowski graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2005 with a Bachelor of Medicine, followed by a Graduate Diploma of Palliative Medicine in 2010.

In 2012 he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Subsequently in 2014 he completed a Graduate Diploma of Clinical Epidemiology.

Following completion of his medical degree (BMed, Newcastle) and basic physician training, Dr Zdenkowski trained as a medical oncologist (FRACP), recognising the great need for improvements in outcomes for cancer patients.

This sparked an interest in the potential for research to impact upon patient’s lives on a greater scale. He has maintained his clinical practice, providing patients with care based on best available evidence.

Dr Zdenkowski’s research includes supporting patient decision-making, supportive care in cancer, and implementation of research findings into routine practice. He is interested in the decisions around giving pre-operative systemic therapy for women with operable breast cancer.

His PhD thesis explores these issues. This thesis also describes the development of a patient decision aid that was successfully integrated into the patient care pathway.

Dr Zdenkowski provides high quality, patient centered care via the application of best evidence, good communication, supportive care and the use of decision support interventions.

He is engaged with the multidisciplinary breast cancer team, including surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, breast care nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and allied and complementary health practitioners.

Qualifications and Professional Experience

Dr Zdenkowski’s qualifications and professional experience includes:

  • PhD, Supporting decision making for women with breast cancer, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Medicine, University of Newcastle
  • Graduate Diploma of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Newcastle
  • Clinical Diploma in Palliative Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Fellow (FRACP) – Royal Australasian College of Physicians

His PhD project resulted in the development of a decision aid for patients considering neoadjuvant systemic therapy for breast cancer.

He has also published widely, from patient-reported outcomes, systematic reviews through to clinical trial outcomes.

His clinical practice is at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital and Maitland Private Hospital in the Hunter Region in NSW Australia.


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Our researchers work tirelessly to develop and conduct clinical trials because they see the benefits this research brings to their patients and all those affected by breast cancer.