Against Breast Cancer launch ABC Discover, new project to provide basis for precision medicine in breast cancer

By applying the latest analytical technologies to clinical samples taken from breast cancer patients, ABC Discover represents an entirely new phase in charity Against Breast Cancer’s research and aims to provide the basis for precision medicine in breast cancer.

ABC Discover has been created to improve rates of early detection and improve our understanding of the impact of diet and lifestyle on breast cancer recurrence and secondary spread. Representing a 5-year, £1,200,000 commitment, ABC Discover will be based at the University of Southampton and brings the charity’s long-term research spending commitments to over £4,000,000 for the first time in its history.

Working in close collaboration with the advanced research infrastructure Against Breast Cancer already has in place at the University of Southampton, ABC Discover will be led by Dr Paul Skipp who together with his team, plan to perform deep ‘molecular phenotyping’ of the clinical samples.

This research promises to have a major impact on the discovery of biomarkers, which are required for the development of new tools to identify risk and early detection of Stage IV breast cancer. ABC Discover will also continue to advance our understanding of the impact of diet and lifestyle on recurrence and secondary spread, the main cause of breast cancer related deaths.

In conjunction with the Centre for Cancer Immunology, ABC Discover is a flagship research programme under the umbrella of the newly established Integrative Molecular Phenotyping Centre (IMPC) at the University of Southampton.

Leader Dr Paul Skipp said ‘ABC Discover will enable more effective and personalised treatments meaning a better outcome for Breast Cancer patients. By using molecular signatures with clinical and lifestyle data, we will be able to better tailor existing treatments, paving the way for the development of new therapeutics and diagnostics’.

By identifying risk biomarkers and factors such as diet and lifestyle which are associated with recurrence, ABC Discover hopes to revolutionize treatment intervention to improve patient outcome. Advancing the effectiveness of predicting risk, diagnosing and monitoring responses and understanding cancer behaviour in response to diet and lifestyle, ABC Discover aims to provide the basis for precision medicine in breast cancer.

Bernadette Jones, Chief Executive of Against Breast Cancer said: ‘We need to better understand breast cancer and want to pave the way toward enabling more personalised and effective healthcare treatment and diagnosis. ABC Discover will advance our understanding of why some breast cancers become metastatic and the impact diet and lifestyle has on patient progression and outcome.

“With the number of people living with breast cancer predicted to grow dramatically over the coming years the need to improve rates of earlier detection has never been greater.’