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Breaking new ground in breast cancer research

A research project funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is on the verge of a significant breakthrough in the prevention and treatment of secondary breast cancer.

NBCF-funded researcher Dr Clare Slaney and her team are breaking new ground in the field of cancer immunotherapy, focusing on a novel approach called T Cell therapy. This new method involves a transfusion of white blood cells, which are genetically modified to attack breast cancer cells, combined with an injection of a vaccine that also has the power to attack cancer cells.

Dr Slaney’s ultimate goal is to trigger the body’s immune system to fight and kill cancer cells, specifically secondary breast cancer cells.

Dr Clare Slaney in her lab


In promising results, early research has shown total eradication of cancerous tumours that have previously been very difficult to treat. Evidence suggests that even after the primary tumour is gone, the immune system can develop a memory response to fight recurring tumours, preventing the growth and spread of secondary cancer cells.

If her research continues to show promising results, Dr Slaney aims to advance this treatment to the stage of clinical trials in the near future. With the help of extra funding people potentially start benefitting from her research within 5-10 years.

This project is particularly important, as secondary breast cancer is the main cause of death from breast cancer. If successful, Dr Slaney’s work would represent one of the most effective emerging breast cancer therapies and could have a significant impact on reducing deaths from breast cancer.

“The biggest challenge is chasing the funding to support our research. If we can increase funding, I believe this research could be the next breakthrough for breast cancer patients.”

– Dr Clare Slaney, NBCF Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Dr Clare Slaney talks about her previous 4 year NBCF Post-Doctoral Fellowship.