We need to develop our understanding of how breast cancer spreads around the body if we want to prevent deaths from the disease. Dr Iain Macpherson is studying the role of glutamate in breast cancer and will see if blocking it could prevent secondary breast cancer.

Prof Leonie Young is studying a protein called RET, which is thought to be involved in the spread of breast cancer to the brain. Her work could eventually lead to treatments which can control or even prevent secondary tumours in the brain.

We need better ways to track how secondary tumours in the bone respond to treatments. Professor Gary Cook is investigating whether a ‘tracer’ molecule can tell if these treatments are working at an earlier stage than is currently possible – and help patients live well for longer.

Professor Christopher Scott and his PhD student would like to evaluate whether blocking a protein called cathepsin S (CTSS) can prevent triple negative breast cancer from spreading and forming incurable secondary tumours.

By investigating the role of the proteins TBX2 and KDM1A in breast cancer, Dr Mullan’s team aims to reveal which patients are likely to fail to respond to current chemotherapy treatments and provide an opportunity for the development of new targeted treatments, including treatments for triple negative breast cancers.

 

Dr Fiona Kennedy will investigate the feasibility of an online resource to offer support to secondary breast cancer patients and help them to manage their symptoms with the ultimate aim of improving their overall quality of life.