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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.
Our researchers work tirelessly to understand what we need to do to stop secondary breast cancer in its tracks.
Our research into secondary breast cancer covers many different topics, from understanding how secondary breast cancer develops and looking for ways to prevent it, to finding better treatments and better ways to support people with the disease. And beyond this research which focuses on developing new treatments specifically designed for secondary breast cancer, we also hope that further areas of breast cancer research that we fund could also lead to new treatments that women with secondary breast cancer could benefit from.
Here are some examples of research happening right now:
You can also see the list of our research projects into secondary breast cancer.
Olaparib is already available for women with BRCA-mutant advanced ovarian cancer, and is the first drug to be approved that is directed against an inherited genetic mutation. It is a perfect example of how understanding a patient’s genetics and the biology of their tumour can be used to target its weaknesses and personalise treatment.
Professor Andrew Tutt, Director of our research centre
These are hugely promising laboratory findings and we’re very keen to learn whether this class of drug really works as a treatment for women with breast cancer. What we have seen so far suggests this is certainly an approach worth pursuing and we are very enthusiastic about the prospect of applying our scientific results in clinical trials.
Professor Chris Lord who led the study
We are very excited by our results in the lab showing that breast cancer in bone can be prevented using drugs that are already approved for other diseases. We hope it can soon be established whether these drugs can be used for breast cancer patients following successful testing in clinical trials.
Dr Rachael Eyre who carried out the research
Clearly we need to expand this testing to a larger cohort of patients to see how widely applicable it might just be – in breast cancer patients as well as potentially in patients with other cancer types. I am wholeheartedly grateful to the patients and their families who so generously made this study possible.
Peter Barry who led the Breast Cancer Now LEGACY study
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 the disease, we need to understand it better. We need research.
And we always want to do so much more, but we can’t without your help.