11 January 2022

Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencing at Breast Cancer Now, said: 

“People who have inherited an altered gene will have a higher risk of developing breast cancer and every year thousands of people in the UK with an altered BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are diagnosed with the disease.

“PARP inhibitor drugs work well against cancer cells with an altered BRCA gene, however, they don’t work for everyone and some cancers become resistant to this targeted treatment, making it important we continue to fund research into understanding drug resistance. Excitingly, this research suggests that a medicine currently used to treat alcohol addiction could be used in combination with PARP inhibitors to make treatment for breast cancer, caused by an altered BRCA gene, more effective. We hope this research will lead to new treatment options and better ways to tailor therapy to each individual patient, so that everyone can receive treatment that works best for them.

“This breakthrough is testament to the tireless efforts of world-class researchers - including many Breast Cancer Now funded UK researchers – who, over the last 20 years, have helped develop PARP inhibitor drugs and laid the foundations for this promising discovery.”

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