Breast Cancer Research
You can help find the next breast cancer breakthrough
10,000 women around the world die from breast cancer every week. Our dedicated researchers are working to help save and transform women's lives across the globe.
We are developing a blood test to detect the disease early. Our experts are developing more effective targeted treatments and using new discoveries to help stop breast cancer from spreading around the body.
We are focused on reaching extraordinary goals. Support our work and you could be part of the next breast cancer breakthrough.
Help beat breast cancer
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I felt absolutely devastated. All I could think about were my children. But then I found out how much you can put yourself through and still come out the other side. I would love researchers to find a cure but failing that, my hope is that people have long enough to enjoy life. Breast cancer shouldn't be a death sentence."
Lisa Johnson - breast cancer patient
Our breast cancer research
Detect it early
Diagnosing breast cancer early gives women the best chance of survival. Our experts are working to develop the world's first blood test to detect breast cancer, identifying the natural antibodies we produce in response to the first cancer cells developing.
The team have already developed the world's first blood test to detect lung cancer, which is helping save lives in the USA and undergoing a clinical trial in Scotland. Recent pilot results for the breast cancer test are very positive, and further research is now underway.
Stop it spreading
Breast cancer kills, particularly when it spreads around the body - a process called metastasis. We are investigating ways to stop this process in its tracks.
Our experts have discovered how breast cancer cells use the lymphatic system to travel, and have pinpointed particular proteins - called Calpains - that are linked to this process. They are now using this insight to help make treatments more effective, including testing novel drugs developed here in Nottingham.
Treat it right
There are many different types of breast cancer. Treatments that specifically target each one create fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy and can be used for longer.
'Triple Negative Breast Cancer' is an aggressive form for which no targeted treatment currently exists. Our experts have identified a weakness in how these cells grow. They are now developing drugs which exploit this weakness, killing the cells or making them more responsive to treatment.
Our experts first developed the Nottingham Prognostic Index in the 1980s. It remains the global standard still used today to predict patient outcomes.
We are one of only four UK centres providing vital tumour tissue for research through the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank.
Our Professor Ian Ellis has been named among the world's top 20 most influential experts on breast cancer
The Nottingham Grading System developed by Professor Ellis and colleagues, is the international gold standard for histological classification used by the World Health Organisation and others.
“I'd had non-cancerous cysts in my breasts since my late twenties and no family history of breast cancer, so being diagnosed in 2011, just five months after a supposedly clear mammogram, came as a huge shock.
"My treatment began with chemotherapy - it made my hands look like they had been dipped in boiling oil. Surgery was one of the most difficult things for me, but I decided to donate my right breast to the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank at Nottingham for research. It was great to feel that I was helping progress vital research in some small way.
"I'm a believer in getting on with life while you have it and I'm now passionate about breast cancer research. We need to be able to identify women at risk as early as possible, and if cancer does develop, stop it from spreading. I know I'm one of the lucky ones - I've been given more time and I'm determined to use it make a difference."
You can push forward breast cancer research
100% of every penny given goes directly to our research. Here's how you gifts could make a difference:
- £50 will buy flasks so we can grow cancer cells in the lab.
- £250 allows us to screen 2,000 tissue samples for a biomarker.
- £1,000 provides an initial screen of new drugs to stop cancer spread.
- £2,500 funds the consumables needed by one of our researchers to conduct experiments for 3 months
Thank you to everyone who has supported this life-changing research so far.
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