Professor Karen Blyth is studying why RUNX1 protects against ER-positive breast cancer but promotes the development of other types of the disease. Her research could ultimately lead to smarter treatments that improve the chances of survival for people with breast cancer.

 

People with ER positive breast cancer can be prescribed anti-hormone treatment for five years or more to reduce the risk of recurrence, but many find it hard to complete the course. Dr Hughes’ team are developing a way to help people persist with their treatment.

 

For some patients with certain types of breast cancer, treatment with radiotherapy (x-ray treatment) and hormone therapy before surgery may reduce the need for mastectomies (removal of the whole breast) and allow breast conserving surgery (removal of a small part of the breast) instead. Reducing the need for mastectomies is likely to improve patient well-being.

Dr Khaled will be researching how BCL11A and other proteins interact in triple negative breast cancer cells and how these interactions affect the rest of the cell. He hopes that this information could lead to new targeted treatments for this form of the disease.

 

 

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.

Using the immune system to target tumours has been hailed as one of the next great breakthroughs in treating cancers, with the potential to use the patient’s own immune cells to specifically recognise and attack cancer cells. However, there is still much to learn if we are to use these immunotherapies to safely and effectively treat breast cancer whilst avoiding damage to healthy tissues.