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Breast Cancer Research (Professor Nigel Bundred)

Following on from the award of NIHR Senior Faculty status to Professor Bundred, he has obtained a £1.48m National Institute for Health Research Programme Grant to look at optimising clinical management of breast cancer patientsí survival. MSRT funds were used for pilot research to obtain data to support this grant application. The NIHR grant funds study of management of elderly breast cancer patients, as well as a new technique; multi-frequency bioimpedance monitoring to identify women who are developing lymphoedema. In women with early signs of lymphoedema, we are randomising to early intervention with external compression garment or no intervention, to determine whether early intervention prevents lymphoedema after axillary node clearance.

Two Surgical Research Fellowships funded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England have been obtained, one to work on cancer stem cells and the other on stromal resistance to breast cancer growth. We have continued laboratory research into cancer stem cells, both in ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive cancer and one of the fellowships will work on preventing cancer stem cell survival on treatment.

The Manchester Breakthrough Breast Cancer Unit was awarded £4.7m split between laboratory research at the Christie Hospital/Paterson Institute for Cancer Research and clinical research at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (The Nightingale and Genesis Prevention Centre). Professor Bundred is the Clinical Director and the unit has recruited three new Principal Investigators including a molecular pathologist from Sweden, Professor G. Landberg.

We have ongoing pre-operative breast cancer trials which are examining the role of both the stroma and the epithelium in breast epithelial proliferation. These studies have suggested it is possible, on switching off the epithelium, to switch off the stroma in some cancers, but not others and we are studying how we can switch off the stroma in unresponsive cancers. Additionally, breast cancer trial recruitment has been excellent and has allowed us to off-set salaries for Research Nurses to the Comprehensive Local Research Network (removing them from the MSRT budget).