The Institute Of Cancer Research (ICR), London

Through the support of Breast Cancer Research Aid, the Institute of Cancer Research has been able to make novel discoveries in the treatment of breast cancer. ICR focuses on uncovering cancer drugs and combination therapies through ongoing research. The research also intends to look into pathways of cancer development and ultimately what modifications lead to drug-resistance. Thus, guiding us toward better imaging modalities. With the help of Breast Cancer Research Aid, our researchers get better equipped with the latest technology and cutting-edge infrastructure.

Read more: ICR’s research into liquid biopsy tests

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Wear it Pink this October in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This month you most likely will have noticed an abundance of pink. This is because the pink ribbon is the international symbol of breast cancer awareness and support.  Since 1985, October has been known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign organized by different breast cancer charities to increase awareness and fundraising for medical research into the disease.

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. According to ‘Cancer Research UK’, around 55,200 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. That is a staggering 150 people every day. ‘Breast Cancer Now’, the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity, estimates that 11,500 women die each year from the disease. The terrifying reality of the disease is shocking, and all breast cancer charities maintain that the most important part of prevention is awareness and education; the main focus of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign.

According to ‘Worldwide Breast Cancer’, 39 per cent of women who are diagnosed discover symptoms on their own, so being able to check yourself properly is vital. Consequently, ‘Worldwide Breast Cancer’ created a global campaign called ‘Know Your Lemons’. The campaign used the fruit to illustrate the twelve key symptoms of breast cancer: thick mass, indentation, skin erosion, red or hot, new fluid, dimpling, bump, growing vein, sunken nipple, new shape or size, orange peel skin, or invisible lump. As well as self-examination, mammograms are used to check breasts before symptoms are seen or felt.

The ‘American Cancer Society’ suggests that annual mammograms should be arranged after the age of 40. In fact, according to ‘Cancer Research UK’, more than 90 per cent of women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer survive their disease for at least five years, compared to 15 per cent of women diagnosed at the most advanced stages. These figures highlight the importance of self-examination, knowledge of possible symptoms and early detection.

In 2013, Angelina Jolie underwent a preventative mastectomy after discovering she was very likely to develop breast cancer. In the following year, research by ‘Prevent Breast Cancer’ showed that the number of women in the UK receiving referrals for genetic counselling and testing for breast cancer risk has doubled. This response was called ‘The Angelina Effect’. In further positive news, within the next six months a genetic test that accurately calculates the risk of developing breast cancer will be introduced in some hospitals around the UK. This technology seeks to reduce the number of women getting unnecessary preventative mastectomies, and increase the number of women getting effective, risk-reducing surgeries.

This month, there are countless opportunities to get involved, be it raising awareness of the disease, increasing education, or fundraising for research-based charities.

In 2002, ‘Breast Cancer Now’ initiated ‘wear it pink’, a fundraising day encouraging people around the UK to wear pink to work, school or university to raise money. Since its initiation, the event has raised over £30 million for life saving breast cancer research.

This year, ‘wear it pink’ day is on Friday 20 October, so get organizing a fun-filled event with your friends and family! ‘Breast Cancer Now’ is also currently running a campaign called ‘Good Enough?’, which is based on a policy report revealing that opportunities are being missed to save more lives from breast cancer. The charity claims that governments in the UK can and should attempt to take action against issues impacting the care of people with breast cancer. You can easily join us or donating with us at (https://bcra.charitycheckout.co.uk/), and sending a pre-written email to your local politicians and news sources asking them to take action.

If you’re looking to get involved or raise awareness in Edinburgh, ‘CoppaFeel Society’ is a breast cancer awareness charity on campus, aiming to educate people about the severity of the disease in a light-hearted way. All money raised goes towards making students and young people aware of how to check themselves properly and to learn how to spot early signs and symptoms. Their vision is to give everyone the best possible chance of surviving breast cancer and detecting it quickly, as well as having a little fun in the process. They throw hilarious events such as glitter parties, fun brunches, and games of boob-ball (dodgeball).br

News Source: (Students News Paper)

Also Read: Cell shape ‘maps’ could point to new cancer treatments

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New myeloma clinical trial launches with aim to transform treatment from one-size-fits-all approach

People with newly diagnosed high risk myeloma will be treated based on the results of genetic testing as part of a new UK-first clinical trial.

The evidence from the trial, launched today by Myeloma UK, will help doctors move from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treating myeloma to one that is more targeted to specific patient groups.

The MUK nine trials is one of the first trials of its kind in the world and experts predict it could transform myeloma treatment on the NHS and in healthcare systems around the world.

The trial will deliver on the aspirations set out in the recent Life Sciences: industrial strategy which calls for the UK to lead innovation in clinical trial methodology, and to embed routine genomic analysis to make trials more targeted and effective.

High risk myeloma patients make up around 20% of all people with myeloma and generally have a worse prognosis than other patients. More evidence is required to ensure that high risk myeloma patients get access to the best possible treatments.

MUK nine has been designed to address this evidence gap, and to incorporate genetic tests as a way of identifying this group of patients, a process which is also known as stratified medicine.

Access to state of the art diagnostics

Hosted by the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Leeds, patients taking part in the trial will have access to state of the art diagnostics and remission profiling which has been investigated and developed, in part, through Myeloma UK-funded research at The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

Up to 700 newly-diagnosed patients will be recruited and screened by genetic analysis of their bone marrow samples. This analysis is conducted by Myeloma UK-funded researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR). Those patients who are identified by the genetic analysis as being of high risk will be then offered a chance to take part in MUK nine.

MUK nine is a Phase II trial to assess the effectiveness of a new treatment combination in conjunction with an autologous stem cell transplant: bortezomib (Velcade®), lenalidomide (Revlimid®), daratumumab (Darzalex®) and dexamethasone in combination with low dose cyclophosphamide will be used to treat these newly diagnosed, high risk myeloma patients.

Daratumumab is currently only available in a restricted setting on the NHS, to patients in Scotland. So the results of this trial could quickly affect access to the treatment.

The trial also aims to increase understanding of the genetic basis of myeloma in general, and to find disease markers which could be helpful when looking towards stratified medicine that benefits all myeloma patients.

Transforming myeloma treatment

Chief Investigator for the MUK nine trials and Senior Researcher at the ICR, Dr Martin Kaiser said:

“It’s vitally important that people with myeloma get the most effective treatment for them, particularly people with the highest risk forms of the disease. But we urgently need the evidence to show which therapeutic approaches are right for different groups of patients.

The MUK nine trials will give patients access to innovative new treatments and state-of-the-art molecular testing. We hope it will transform myeloma treatment from a one-size-fits-all approach to a stratified one driven by disease characteristics.

Speeding up access to promising new treatments

MUK nine will initially open in 35 Clinical Trial Network (CTN) centre across the UK. It is part of the Myeloma UK CTN, a portfolio of early stage trials co-ordinate and sponsored by the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Leeds, which aims to test and speed up access to promising new treatments for patients.

Myeloma UK Director of Research Dr Simon Ridley added:

Around 20% of myeloma patients are characterized as having high risk myeloma, yet there is relatively little research looking at high risk disease and treatment. This trial is looking to the future – we are trying to gain more insight into which treatment combinations might work best in different groups of high risk patients.

“It also offers patient access to novel combination treatments that they cannot currently get access to through routine commissioning. The data this trial will generate can be used in the UK and beyond to support patient access to the most innovative and effective combination treatments.”

Myeloma UK is funding MUK nine with both funding support and drugs provided by Celgene UK & Ireland (lenalidomide) and Janssen Oncology (daratumumab).

Daratumumab is a novel monoclonal antibody that is not currently available for use on the NHS. Skyline Dx’s prognostic tool, MMprofiler, will be used in combination with other genetic prognostic tools to risk-stratify patients on this trial.

Also Read: ICR’s research into liquid biopsy tests

Official article Source: Institute of Cancer Research ICR London

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Test For Breast Cancer Risk Could Reduce Pre-Emptive Mastectomies

A genetic test that accurately predicts the risk of developing breast cancer could soon be used on high-risk groups.

Researchers behind the test say it could reduce the number of women choosing pre-emptive mastectomy surgery as they will be able to make more informed decisions about their care.

The blood test looks at 18 genetic variations, or single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), known to affect the chances of getting breast cancer.
It will initially only be available at St Mary’s hospital and Wythenshawe hospital in Manchester to women having tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.

breast cancer, cancer research news, Breast cancer test, charity UK

A consultant analyses a mammogram: the research suggested the number of women choosing to have a mastectomy could be reduced from 50% to 36%. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA

A study carried out by researchers at the hospitals and the University of Manchester analysed the DNA of 451 women with a family history of breast cancer who had developed the disease, using the information alongside other factors to predict an overall risk estimate.

Many of the women who were originally in the high-risk category were reclassified to a lower risk category, where risk-reducing breast removal surgery is not recommended.

The study suggested the number of women with BRCA1 and 2 mutations who choose to have a mastectomy could be reduced from 50% to about 36%.

Becky Measures, who had a mastectomy at Wythenshawe hospital 11 years ago after learning she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation, said: When they find that they have the BRCA1/2 gene, many women fear that they have to take action immediately. The new test will give women more options and help them to make a more informed decision.
Probably the most famous person to have undergone the surgery is actor Angelina Jolie, who made the decision after learning she had an up to 87% chance of developing breast cancer, a disease her mother had died of.

Following the revelation, referrals for the gene mutation tests more than doubled in the UK, which doctors described as the Angelina effect.

While all women with a BRCA gene mutation are given this same risk figure of 87%, it is actually much more complex and different for every person.

A breast cancer charity described the more tailored approach as an exciting development.

Lester Barr, the chairman of Prevent Breast Cancer, which partly funded the research, said: With more accurate genetic testing, we can better predict a woman’s risk of developing the disease and therefore offer the appropriate advice and support, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Read more about: Breast Cancer Latest Research

Source: The Guardian

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National Breast Cancer Awareness Month | Key Terms You Should know

Mammogram. “Triple-negative.” “Tumor stage.”

Patients may hear some or all of these words while speaking to their doctors about breast cancer. Understanding these terms and how they can affect you may be key to getting the help you need.
Below are their definitions, as well some other common breast cancer-related terms and what they mean.

Benign: When something is not cancer.

BRCA-1 and BRCA-2: These two types of breast cancer susceptibility genes usually help protect you from getting cancer,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain. “But when you have changes or mutations on one or both of your BRCA genes, cells are more likely to divide and change rapidly, which can lead to cancer.

Carcinoma: The term signifies “cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs,” according to the charity Cancer Research UK.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): It’s “essentially a cell that looks like a breast cancer but it’s confined in the ducts” of the breast, Dr. Laura Spring with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told Fox News. It’s not yet able to spread distantly in the body, she explained.
Dr. Adam Brufsky, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine professor, stressed the importance of finding DCIS, saying that it could become invasive cancer if it’s left untreated.

HER2/neu: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) is a type of “protein involved in cell growth and survival and appears on the surface of some breast cancer cells, the Susan G. Komen website explains. Testing may be done to determine a patient’s HER2 status, which can indicate if there’s a high amount of HER2/neu in the cancer.
Patients may also be tested to find out their hormone receptor status, which indicates “whether or not a breast cancer needs hormones to grow,” Susan G. Komen says. HER2 status and hormone receptor status can affect the type of care someone gets.

Invasive ductal carcinoma: A type of breast cancer that begins in cells lining a duct before it “breaks through the wall of the duct, and grows into the nearby breast tissues,” the American Cancer Society (ACS) says.

Invasive lobular cancer: This breast cancer type begins in glands called lobules, according to the ACS.
Lumpectomy: When a lump and some tissue is removed from a breast.

Malignant: When something is cancer.

Mammogram: This is a low-dose x-ray that allows radiologists to look for changes in the breast, said Dr. Elizabeth Arleo, a radiologist with New York Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine. She explained that it can find breast cancer early when it’s small even before a lump can be felt and it’s easiest to treat.
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) says online that it “recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74 years.
Women who place a higher value on the potential benefit than the potential harms may choose to begin biennial screening between the ages of 40 and 49 years, the task force says.
Arleo and others worked on a study published in August that used computer modeling to estimate the possible effects from three different screening recommendations on female breast cancer deaths, a news release said.

The team found that the recommendation of annual screening starting at age 40 would result in the greatest reduction in breast cancer–specific deaths: a nearly 40 percent reduction in deaths due to breast cancer, it said. Annual screening starting at 40 saves the most lives, Arleo told Fox News.

Mastectomy: This refers to surgery to remove a breast or part of a breast, MedLine Plus says.

Metastasis: This describes cancer extending to other areas of the body, the CDC says.

Occult cancer: This is when cancer is “hidden” and accidentally found, Brufsky explained.

Systemic therapy: This is when treatments such as hormone therapy and chemotherapy affect the entire body, according to Brufsky.

Triple-negative: This describes when tumor cells don’t have estrogen or progesterone receptors and also don’t have too much of the protein called HER2, the ACS says.

Tumor grade: It’s a measure of how quickly the tumor cells are dividing and how different they look compared to a normal cell, according to Spring.

Source: MSN News

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Dear Ms Causer,

I am writing to thank Breast Cancer Research Aid for your kind donation of £2000.00. We are most grateful for your continued support of the ICR and commitment to our mission: to continue to work towards defeating cancer through our groundbreaking research and translation into real clinical trials and therapy.

The ICR continues to be at the forefront of medical breakthroughs across a variety of cancer-related medical research. Our recent research strategy reflects our commitment to being at the cutting edge. With the recent discoveries around the evolution and complex genetic variety of cancers, we are setting out to find a deeper understanding of the said complexity in order to develop kinder, smarter therapy for individual patients.

Our work makes a real difference. However, it is only with the support, passion and belief of charities like yours, Breast Cancer Research Aid, that we are able to continue our research.

As you may be aware, Michael has left the ICR in order to pursue a new career opportunity. I would like to introduce myself, Jack Mullen, as your new point of contact here at the ICR. Michael has filled me in on the history of your charity, if there is anything that I can help you with then please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you once again for your hard work and kind donation.

Kind regards

Jack Soares Mullen

Trusts and Corporate Fundraising Officer

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We are supporting Cardiff University’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute

We are supporting Cardiff University’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute with ground-breaking work they are doing on a finding new therapies for a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer.

The Institute is working on research into a form of breast cancer called ‘triple negative breast cancer’ or TNBC. This tends to be more aggressive and cannot be treated with hormonal therapy or trastuzumab, a common breast cancer treatment.

Researchers at the Institute have found a ‘molecular switch’ called LYN which exists at high levels in TNBC. It is particularly active in TNBC that develops in patients with a defective BRCA1 breast cancer gene.

In the laboratory, the researchers have found that BRCA1-TNBC cancer is very sensitive to blocking LYN and is killed by this approach. More needs to be found out about the physical properties and biology of LYN so that compounds can be developed that could be used in patients.

We are supporting the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute by helping to fund studies of this ‘molecular switch’, which will form the basis of the development of new therapies for breast cancer patients.

When discoveries such as this are made, a lot of work needs to go into taking the science from the lab to the bedside. It often involves many small steps that are often expensive. We are helping by giving the Institute flexible support so that they can direct their research down a number of different possible approaches.

 Other research programmes the Institute is working on include looking at how breast cancers develop resistance to new treatments and how to overcome that resistance, as well as more basic studies of breast cancer biology which aim to improve understanding of the cellular and genetic interactions that cause different sorts of breast cancer.

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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.

There are over 150 scientists and clinicians working at the ICR’s Division of Breast Cancer Research. The division focuses on identifying the genetic and environmental causes of breast cancer, so that they can improve diagnosis and treatment, and discover targets for cancer therapies.

Researchers at the ICR were responsible for one of the biggest discoveries in cancer genetics – the identification of the breast cancer gene BRCA2. This discovery has meant that people with a family history of breast cancer can be assessed for their future risk.

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ICR’s research into liquid biopsy tests

ICR’s research into liquid biopsy tests

The ICR is at the center of ground-breaking research into liquid biopsy tests, which can predict which breast cancer patients will relapse. These new blood tests will mean women can benefit from targeted treatment without the need for uncomfortable biopsies.

We are supporting the ICR by helping to fund this kind of ground-breaking research.

The liquid biopsies use genetic techniques to detect breast cancer DNA in the blood stream. It sho

ws whether a patient is responding to treatment, when a treatment is stopping working, and gives valuable information on the next treatment to try.

The next step for the ICR with this exciting development is to demonstrate that it leads to better outcomes for breast cancer patients. They are currently recruiting patients to a trial that will identify mutations in metastatic breast cancer of individu

al patients and try to match them with specific targeted treatment.

The results of the trial will be available in around two years’ time, and the ICR expects the blood tests to be used in the NHS in the next five years.

This is a very fast-moving area and one that BCRA is excited to be supporting.

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Cardiff University/European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute

Cardiff University/ European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute

With the support of Breast Cancer Research Aid, researchers at Cardiff University’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research can carry out world-leading research which has the potential to revolutionise the way we tackle cancer. The study is intended to elaborate the understanding of cancer growth and spread with the development of therapies that have high efficacy and thus, will be able to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. Your support will help us get there faster.

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