Published On: Thu, Jan 22nd, 2015 on 5:07 pm

Leeds researchers awarded £200,000 to help improve breast cancer treatment

Professor David Buckley

Professor David Buckley.

Leeds scientists and clinicians have been awarded £200,000 to test a new method that could ensure breast cancer patients receive the most appropriate treatment.

The grant has been awarded by medical research charity Breast Cancer Campaign to allow them to test the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that could predict chemotherapy benefits.

Patients are sometimes given chemotherapy drugs before surgery to reduce the size of a tumour, which is known as neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

It can take many cycles of the chemotherapy to cause a noticeable change in tumour size, and in some cases the tumour does not shrink at all, meaning that patients experience the side-effects of chemotherapy with little benefit.

Monitoring the effectiveness of chemotherapy

Professor David Buckley, based in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, is leading a three-year project to test the new method of monitoring the effectiveness of chemotherapy as early as possible.

His team has already developed a method to tell whether a tumour is responding to chemotherapy, using a conventional hospital MRI scan to measure blood flow to the tumour.

Breast Cancer Campaign is funding a clinical trial of this new technique, led by Professor Buckley, to see whether changes to a tumour’s blood flow can be detected after just one cycle of neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

40 people to be receive the trial

The trial will recruit 40 women receiving the neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer, who will have MRI scans before, during and after the course of chemotherapy.

Tumour tissue will also be analysed both after one cycle of chemotherapy and once it has been removed by surgery to see how successful it has been at treating the tumour.

Katherine Woods, Senior Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Campaign, said: “To ensure that breast cancer patients receive the most effective treatment possible, we need to identify whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy is working for them as soon as we can.

“Professor Buckley’s research will help find better ways to monitor how effective chemotherapy before surgery actually is for each individual, ensuring that it can be directed to the people most likely to benefit and enabling those it is unlikely to help to be spared from the gruelling side-effects and to pursue more appropriate options.”

About the Author

Guest Editorial

- The work of guest writers who publish original content to the Yorkshire Standard. All material is copyrighted and belongs to the Yorkshire Standard.

Leave a comment

Your comment will be approved before it is published.

Comments containing profanity, spam or web links will NOT be approved.