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How are we fighting breast cancer?

As October draws to a close, so too does Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect women worldwide, and it also affects a significant amount of men. Survival is improving, but not everywhere, and not for everyone. Put simply, more must be done.

So this month, we’ve been examining exactly what Worldwide Cancer Research is doing to help those affected by breast cancer.

What we do

We fund early-stage cancer research. That is, the type of research which provides that vital seed of discovery needed to drive forward better prevention, improved diagnosis, and new treatments.

We’re proud that thanks to our supporters, we currently have over £2.5m invested in pioneering breast cancer research projects at 14 world-class research institutes around the world. And each and every one of these projects has the potential to bring real benefit to patients. For example:

Dr Helen Dooley in Scotland is using shark antibodies to try to find new ways to overcome drug resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Dr Helena Richardson in Australia is working with fruit flies to screen for potential new breast cancer drugs.

Professor Jos Jonkers in the Netherlands is investigating drug resistance in triple-negative breast cancer patients.

Our impact on breast cancer

The breast cancer research we fund is already yielding results. Professor Robin Anderson and her team in Melbourne, Australia used our funding to find a potentially new way to stop advanced breast cancer from continuing to grow. Using a cutting-edge technique, they were able to successfully target toxic molecules to breast cancer cells in primary and, importantly, secondary tumours in mice. Although not yet in patients, this potential new treatment shows real promise for women with advanced breast cancer that has spread.

What’s next?

We’re not stopping until we see no life cut short by any cancer, including breast cancer. As part of our latest funding round we have given the green-light for six more world-class researchers in the UK, Europe and Australia to continue their innovative work against breast cancer. We are proud to continue the fight, whatever it takes, wherever it takes us.