Helping save lives by supporting breast cancer research across the UK

Research News

Our Recent Research News

We have recently provided funding to the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) to help support their ground-breaking breast cancer research programme. The ICR is one of the world’s most influential research organisations. They are the world leaders in identifying cancer genes, discovering cancer drugs and developing precision radiotherapy. The ICR relies on support from charities, donors, partner organisations and the general public. It does not receive any government funding. That is why we chose the ICR as the first organisation to receive funding from us.

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February 2017

February 2017: Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, have created a ‘map’ linking the shape of breast cancer cells to the activation of their genes. This could point towards new treatments and help improve the effectiveness of immunotherapies.

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November 2016

A thousand breast and ovarian cancer patients have now benefited from a faster BRCA gene testing process that was developed in the UK and is being adopted around the globe. The new approach was developed by researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the pilot was initially started in 2013.

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September 2016

Scientists at the ICR discovered that non-cancer cells that wrap around blood vessels — called ‘pericytes’ — are helping breast cancer cells enter the bloodstream and spread around the body. The study represents an important step forward in researchers’ understanding of how and why breast cancer spreads.

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September 2016

A blood test that detects when the most common form of breast cancer has become resistant to treatment could double the average time it takes for the disease to progress. A new study conducted by ICR scientists shows the average time it takes the disease to progress increasing from around two and a half to around six months. The test detects low levels of cancer DNA in the blood and can spot women who will respond poorly to current hormonal treatments and who are more likely to benefit from newer drugs.

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August 2016

Scientists at the ICR linked two genes to breast cancer survival after analysing the results of a study of almost 2,000 patients. Testing for these genes could highlight women who are at increased risk of dying from their breast cancers.

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3D-printed ‘AbdoMan’ could transform radiotherapy

A 3D-printed human torso is helping doctors safely model internal radiation treatments for cancer. AbdoMan, created by a team at the ICR andThe Royal Marsden, is a replica of a human abdomen. It can be filled with a solution that replicates the radiation produced by a course of internal radiation therapy.

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Scientists reveal ‘safety catch’ within all dividing cells

Our researchers have made a major discovery about how cells control when they divide. A new study led by Head of Cancer Biology, Professor Jon Pines, has evealed a ‘safety catch’ within cells that prevents them from dividing until DNA is allocated equally between its two daughter cells.

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‘Cough virus’ kills liver cancer cells

A virus that causes childhood coughs and colds could help in the fight against liver cancer, a study led by the ICR’s Professor Alan Melcher has shown. Reovirus stimulates the body’s own immune system to kill off the cancerous cells – and it is also able to kill off the hepatitis C virus, a common cause of liver cancer.

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#GivingTuesday sees our colleague Jack going bald to help raise funds

Jack Walker, who works in the purchasing team at the ICR, bravely went under the clippers to raise money for our research. Jack had his previously luxuriant locks shaved off on #GivingTuesday to support his friend and colleague Jennifer Herbert in her fundraising efforts.

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Structural biology: a new scientific frontier

Every cancer drug is a molecule – a collection of atoms put together in a particular shape. Modern drugs are meticulously designed with a particular target in mind, either within a cancer cell or on its surface. These targets are proteins, the drivers of all our biological processes, which are co-opted in cancer to drive cell growth and spread.

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