When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body from the breast, it is called secondary breast cancer. At this stage, although it can be managed, it is incurable. We believe research holds the key to saving these lives.
Right now, we’re funding just over £26 million worth of world-leading breast cancer research projects, supporting almost 340 of the world’s brightest researchers at institutions across the UK and Ireland.
Our research projects
Our researchers work tirelessly to understand what we need to do to stop secondary breast cancer in its tracks. This is some of their vital research.
- Professor Gary Cook is looking for a way to tell early on if treatment is working well for secondary breast cancer in the bone.
- Professor Chris Scott and his PhD student are investigating if blocking a protein called cathepsin S can prevent triple negative breast cancer from spreading.
- Professor Clare Isacke is discovering how breast cancer cells escape from the breast tumour, enter the blood stream and manage to seed new tumours in places such as the bone, lungs and brain.
- Dr Fiona Kennedy is assessing an online support service for secondary breast cancer patients.
We need research more than ever
Breast cancer is affecting more of us than ever before. Every day, around 150 people in the UK hear the words ‘it’s breast cancer’.
To stop people dying from breast cancer, we need answers. We need to know how breast cancer moves to other parts of the body, why the immune system doesn’t attack breast cancer cells that are spreading, how cancer cells can hibernate for many years before reawakening and forming secondary tumours. And with this knowledge, we can develop treatments that work.
We want to see new treatments for those affected by secondary breast cancer. We want new ways to detect and diagnose secondary breast cancer that guide treatment decisions so that everyone receives the treatment most suitable for them. And we want ways to prevent secondary breast cancer developing in the first place so that no one has to hear a breast cancer diagnosis twice.
To achieve this, our scientists are working flat out to plug the critical gaps in our knowledge on secondary breast cancer.