The average life expectancy of a secondary breast cancer patient once diagnosed is between two and three years. It is estimated that approximately 12,000 people a year die from the disease. Research dedicated to better understanding secondary breast cancer is vital to save lives and develop new treatments that are personalised to be most effective for each and every patient.
Research into secondary breast cancer is underfunded.
Make 2nds Count’s mission is to fund secondary breast cancer research which contributes to advancing an increased quality of life for patients. 75% of all funds donated by Make 2nds Count will go to support medical research projects.
In our first year Make 2nds Count donated over £150,000 to support a pioneering research project at the University of Edinburgh’s Breast Cancer Translational Research Group at the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre.
Led by Academic Consultant Medical Oncologist Dr Olga Oikonomidou the study will help us better understand secondary breast cancer by identifying the specific gene changes, or mutations, that drive cancer cell growth in individual patients.
It focuses on a class of drugs called CDK 4/6 inhibitors, which have been one of the most important developments in treatments for metastatic breast cancer over the past 20 years.
The team is analysing blood samples from patients with metastatic breast cancer, an approach called a liquid biopsy. We are looking for measurable biological changes that indicate whether the patient is responding to specific drug treatments. By sequencing the tumour DNA found in blood samples from patients treated with these drugs, we hope to pinpoint specific changes that could help us understand which patients are likely to respond best to treatment with CDK4/6 inhibitors.
Make 2nds Count is funding a post-doctoral research assistant to help drive forward this vital research and is contributing to the purchase of the kits to extract the genetic material, support sequencing and mass spectrometry costs. We hope the knowledge gained from this research will eventually enable targeted, effective, personalised treatments so that people with secondary breast cancer live longer and have a better quality of life.