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| 1 minute read

Cambridge centre's work towards ending death from breast cancer

Like most 40-something women, a number of my peers, including friends, the mum's of friends, and the wives of colleagues, have had, or have, breast cancer. I lost my childhood best friend to breast cancer when we were both only 38 years old.

I found this article about the work being done by the Precision Breast Cancer Institute in Cambridge inspiring and heart-warming to read. It describes one patient's experience in a trial run by the Institute and explains how sequencing of the genome of her tumour was used to personalise the treatment she received, i.e. to ensure she was put on the optimum treatment regime, and identify if any genetic markers would make her prone to particular side effects. The sequencing also enables the multidisciplinary treatment team to look forwards to consider if family members are at increased risk of breast cancer, and to plan the first line of treatment for any reoccurrence. This patient was also included in a trial for a drug called Olaparib, used alongside chemotherapy, also developed in Cambridge.

The sequencing of vast amounts of DNA also enables another team of researchers to investigate how estrogen receptors operate and influence the effectiveness of treatments for breast cancer. 

This article highlighted to me everything that is brilliant about research in the Cambridge ecosystem. In this case sequencing, which itself has strong roots here in Cambridge, is used to personalise breast cancer treatment to ensure it is is effective as possible, and to gather data to continue to improve treatments by deepening the understanding of what is happening on a molecular level.  

A personal approach to breast cancer treatment based on genomics


cambridge, medical technologies