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New research to tackle early onset breast cancer

New Worldwide Cancer Research funding is helping Professor Kevin Hiom at the University of Dundee understand the causes of early onset breast cancer- which is diagnosed in women under 40 years old.

Women with early onset breast cancer often have a fault in either their BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. But this is not the case for approximately half of women with this type of breast cancer.

Professor Hiom and his team have recently found that a cell protein called Abro is important for regulating the activity of BRCA1. They now want to understand if changes in Abro might affect the function of BRCA1 and therefore could lead to cancer- even if BRCA1 is not faulty.

“If our research is successful,” says Professor Hiom, “we could potentially develop a way to identify which patients have problems with Abro, and then monitor them closely for the development of cancer.”

“In addition, our increased understanding of how Abro works might help us improve how we treat breast cancer patients, and potentially develop more effective cancer treatments.”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Find out more about our breast cancer research here.

Search our different breast cancer projects here.

Find out more about breast cancer in young women here.