Our Cancer Research
Against Breast Cancer funds groundbreaking cancer research to improve detection, treatment and increase survival after breast cancer diagnosis. The focus of our research is preventing secondary spread, the main cause of breast cancer related deaths.
The ultimate goal of Against Breast Cancer is to stop secondary breast cancer from claiming lives, our unique approach is to do this by focusing our research on prevention, detection and therapies.
Investing in new cancer research
We fund research which addresses:
how diet and lifestyle may increase or reduce the risk of secondary breast cancer developing to provide sound, evidence-based advice relevant to a UK population.
how to design better tools for earlier diagnosis of secondary breast cancer to increase survival rates.
how the body’s natural defences could be harnessed to design more effective treatments and ultimately a vaccine against breast cancer.
Against Breast Cancer’s co-founder Dr. Anthony Leathem, discovered during his own research that secondary breast cancers had an unusual arrangement of sugars on the cancer cell surface.
Today, Against Breast Cancer funds research into secondary breast cancer with a special interest in the sugar biology (glycobiology) involved. This sets us apart from other breast cancer charities.
For over 25 years we have focussed our research on factors which may affect spread from the primary cancer, (called metastasis), the main cause of breast cancer related deaths. We identified three key areas for investigation: immunology, biochemistry and diet & lifestyle.
Recognising that to undertake this cancer research we needed a substantial collection of samples from, and data on, breast cancer patients in the UK led us to undertake our diet & lifestyle study. DietCompLyf involved the recruitment of over 3000 patients from 56 hospitals across the UK. Each of the women were monitored for a period of 5 years after diagnosis. The samples and data collected provided a strong foundation for our research to these three key areas;
- Immunology research – contributing to the development of a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that can stop cancer cells growing or kill them.
- Biochemistry research – seeking to find biomarkers in blood and urine which indicate the earliest stages of recurrence or spread before any symptoms are evident or are manifested physically. This will lead to new blood and urine tests being adopted by clinicians enabling appropriate treatments to be administered much earlier so increasing survival rates.
- Diet & lifestyle research – investigating the factors which may extend survival times or which may have an adverse effect. This advice will complement existing open access follow-up programmes run post-treatment in hospitals as well as going to general practitioners, patients and support centres.