Young breast cancer patient undergoing treatment

Detecting breast cancer early 


Help us develop the world’s first blood test to detect breast cancer

The best way to help a woman beat breast cancer is to diagnose the disease early – or better, to prevent it from developing in the first place. Yet current screening programmes rely on mammograms, usually given to women aged 47-70 years. Even if a patient is diagnosed at stage 1 of the disease (where 90% survive over 10 years), she will still need substantial treatment.

By identifying the antibodies produced in response to the first cancer cells, Professor John Robertson and team at our centre in Derby aim to develop the world’s first blood test to detect early breast cancer in women of all ages.

This simple blood test could potentially help prevent 35% of all future cases from developing – helping save the lives of thousands of women around the world. 

Thanks to gifts to Nottingham Life Cycle 6, this blood test is now one step closer

"In 2015, using microarray technology protein technology, we showed that breast cancer breast cancer autoantibodies could be detected in women in the early stages of breast cancer at all ages".

"In 2016, we expanded the sample and benefitted from technical development of the array. The enhanced sensitivity confirmed our previous findings. Now we are undertaking detailed analysis, with Life Cycle 6 funding helping us buy much-needed equipment for our laboratory. 

With your support, we are moving closer to how we diagnose and treat women with the disease - your generosity makes a difference to the speed at which we can carry out this exciting and promising area of research".

Professor John Robertson, clinican and lead researcher 


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