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.
The drugs crizotinib and lorlatinib have the potential to be new treatments for various forms of breast cancer. Professor Lord and his team will be investigating how these drugs work and using that information to work out the best way to use them to benefit patients.
Professor Nicholas Turner and Dr Alicia Okines will lead a clinical trial of the drug crizotinib for patients with lobular breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. This trial, called the ROLO study, could lead to a much-needed new treatment for this type of breast cancer.
Breast cancer stem cells are likely to be the reason why some breast cancers manage to avoid treatment, come back and spread. Dr Ucar aims to investigate whether stopping two proteins from working in breast cancer stem cells could offer a way to target and destroy the cells.