9 September 2020

A study from the University of Basal has suggested that lack of oxygen supply to a cancer tumour might encourage cells to break away from the primary tumour and lead to an increase in the formation of secondary tumours. The paper was published in Cell Reports on 8th September 2020. 


Dr Kotryna Temcinaite, Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity, said:

This is important research that helps us understand more about what causes cancer to spread around the body and could lead to new ways to help prevent this occurring.

Secondary, or metastatic, breast cancer can be treated but sadly can’t be cured. With around 11,500 women still dying from this devastating disease each year in the UK, research which increases our knowledge and understanding in this area is critical to saving lives in the future.

While this study helps us understand more around why cancer cells break off from the primary tumour, further research is needed to see if this new insight could be used to improve current treatments to ensure that therapies are both effectively treating primary tumour and creating the conditions that make it harder for breast cancer to spread.

Anyone with questions about secondary breast cancer can call our free Helpline on 0800 800 6000 for additional support or information – our nurses are just at the end of the phone.