Welcome to the European Association for Cancer Research
Europe’s membership association for cancer researchers


Translational breast cancer research crossing the boundary from lab to clinic

Dr. Jason Carroll has been an EACR member for over eight years through his membership of the British Association for Cancer Research (BACR), one of our 14 affiliated national societies. A study in 2015, led by Dr. Carroll at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, found that signals sent through a progesterone receptor slowed down breast cancer cell growth. This helped to explain why women with double positive breast cancer cells, who have high levels of both oestrogen and progesterone receptors, do better than those who only have the oestrogen receptor, under the same treatment.

Only two years on from this discovery, three clinical trials will treat breast cancer patients with progesterone alongside the currently used oestrogen-blocking drugs with the aim of further slowing cancer growth.

“We cut off oestrogen, and as an insurance policy we use progesterone to pull the oestrogen receptor away from the genes that support cancer’s growth.”  - Dr. Jason Carroll

The first trial will begin enrolling women with early stage breast cancer in June 2017. After a biopsy of the tumour, the women will be asked to take a combination of an oestrogen-blocking drug and progesterone before the surgery to remove the tumour. The effects of the combination treatment on cancer growth can then be seen between the initial biopsy and a sample of the tumour removed during the surgery.

If the trials are successful, larger trials would examine the effects of this combination therapy post-surgery as well, to see the long-term effects and to explore if it improves survival rates.

Find out more on the Cancer Research UK blog 

25 May 2017

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Translational breast cancer research crossing the boundary from lab to clinic

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