On The Road To The Cure | Research Into Breast Cancer

On The Road To The Cure

On the Road to the cure

Breast Cancer Campaign’s Chief Executive, Baroness Delyth Morgan, has set off on a tour of the UK and Ireland.

Over the coming months, Delyth will be visiting a number of Campaign-funded scientists in their labs from Belfast to Manchester, Southampton to Galway and Cardiff to Dundee and to find out a bit more about the research we fund.

We will update you with the stories that Delyth uncovers from each of her visits. We hope that the videos and information from each stop will give you a further insight into the fantastic research we’re funding with your support.

Visit Schedule

Delyth visits Queen's Hospital & Research Centre in Belfast

Belfast: Queens University

For the second stop of her On the Road to the Cure tour, Delyth visits Belfast where she meets three Breast Cancer Campaign-funded scientists; Dr Jennifer Quinn, Dr Paul Mullan and Professor Kevin Prise. All three have different stories to tell about the crucial breast cancer research work they do and Delyth is given a tour of their labs as well as presentations about their fascinating work.

Delyth said: “I had a wonderful day in Belfast, exploring the city and then meeting three of our fantastic scientists. Seeing their wide-ranging and innovative work first hand was very exciting, especially hearing about the progress that has been made.

“I was also lucky enough to meet three wear it pink fundraisers from a local school, who joined us for the day. Having them as part of the visit once again highlighted how important our supporters are and that without them none of this research would be possible.”

Much of Breast Cancer Campaign’s work in Belfast, including the Scientific Fellowship of Dr Jenny Quinn, has been funded by our corporate partner Asda. In sixteen years of Tickled Pink Asda colleagues, customers and suppliers have raised £30 million for breast cancer charities Breast Cancer Campaign and Breast Cancer Care. Delyth said: “It is thanks to the overwhelming support of our corporate partners, such as Asda, that we are able to dedicate significant funds to invest in our researchers and for that we’re hugely grateful.”


  • Dr Jenny QuinnDr Jennifer Quinn

    Dr Jennifer Quinn was a breast cancer researcher based at Queen’s University Belfast. She had been studying how mutations in the BRCA1 gene might influence how women with breast cancer will respond to chemotherapy.

  • Dr Paul MullanDr Paul Mullan

    Dr Paul Mullan is a breast cancer researcher based at Queen’s University Belfast, studying how mutations or dysregulation of important genes such as BRCA1 and p53 lead to the development of aggressive breast cancers called ‘triple negative breast cancers’ (TNBCs). 

  • Professor Kevin PriseProfessor Kevin Prise

    Prof Kevin Prise is a cancer researcher based at Queen’s University Belfast, whose research focuses on improving radiotherapy for cancer.

Delyth visits Guy's Hospital in London

London: Guy's Hospital

The first stop on Delyth’s tour was London where she visited Dr Elinor Sawyer and her team at Guy’s Hospital. Dr Sawyer talked about her work studying lobular breast cancer and non-invasive types of breast cancer called lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Delyth, looking very scientist-like in her lab coat, was given a tour of Dr Sawyer’s lab to see first-hand some of her incredible work.

Delyth said: “This first stop of my tour has been just as interesting and inspiring as I’d hoped. Meeting Elinor and her team and hearing about their fascinating work only confirms how important your support is to Breast Cancer Campaign.

“Thanks to you, Campaign has funded a total of £40million of grants throughout the UK and Ireland, which means that researchers like Elinor can continue their important work to help us understand breast cancer and ultimately one day find a cure."


  • -1.jpgDr Elinor Sawyer

    Dr Elinor Sawyer is a consultant clinical oncologist and a breast cancer researcher based at Guy’s Hospital in London. Her research interests include studying the genetics of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Campaign-funded research in Southampton

University of Southampton

Breast cancer patients are offered a range of treatments to remove or destroy their cancer, and stop it from coming back. To help improve the chances of survival for people living with breast cancer, Breast Cancer Campaign is funding a wide variety of research to find new treatments, and improve the treatments we have.

Delyth visited some of our funded researchers in Southampton, whose work is all connected to improving treatments. Profs Diana Eccles and Andrew Collins are working to find how a person’s genes could give clues as to which treatments would be most effective for them. Mr Ramsey Cutress is finding ways to improve the drug Herceptin. Finally, Dr Jeremy Blaydes is investigating how breast tumours become resistant to chemotherapy, and finding new ways to prevent this from happening.

Delyth said: “The work we’re funding in Southampton and elsewhere, to target treatments to the right people and improve the therapies we already have, will change the face of how we think of breast cancer.

“The work I’ve visited today is providing real hope for women affected by breast cancer. It’s been wonderful to see scientists collaborating from so many different disciplines. This research really can give us hope for the future.”

  • Professor Diana EcclesProf Diana Eccles

    Diana Eccles is a Professor of Cancer Genetics, based at the University of Southampton, as well as a NHS Consultant in Clinical Genetics.

    Prof Diana Eccles is the lead researcher on a large national study (the POSH study), which recruited 3000 women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 41. Breast Cancer Campaign is funding Prof Eccles to use genetic data from these patients to understand how a person’s genes influence their prognosis; for example, how likely their breast cancer is to become resistant to treatments, or spread throughout the body.

    Ultimately, her research could lead to ways to predict the outlook for a person’s breast cancer, which will help doctors decide on the most appropriate treatment for individual patients, and improve their chances of survival.

  • Prof Andrew Collins

    Andrew Collins is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics at the University of Southampton.

    Prof Collins is interested in finding genes that influence a person’s risk of developing cancer. In work funded by Breast Cancer Campaign, he is using a combination of mathematics and computing to investigate the genetic data from the POSH study, a group of 3,000 women diagnosed before the age of 41. In this capacity, he is working with Prof Diana Eccles to help find more genes which increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer at a young age, as well as genes which influence the outlook for women with breast cancer.

  • Mr Ramsey CutressMr Ramsey Cutress

    Ramsey Cutress is a consultant surgeon and a researcher based at the University of Southampton. He divides his time between breast surgery and research into breast cancer.

    Breast Cancer Campaign is funding Ramsey Cutress’s research studying a protein called BAG‑1, and how it is involved in breast cancer. Mr Cutress believes that blocking the activity of BAG‑1 could form the basis of a treatment for breast cancer, and could improve existing treatments such as Herceptin. Ultimately his research could lead to new therapies for breast cancer, improving the chances of survival for people living with the disease.

  • Dr Jeremy BlaydesDr Jeremy Blaydes

    Jeremy Blaydes is a researcher in cancer cell biology based at the University of Southampton.

    Many people with breast cancer will receive chemotherapy as part of their treatment, but some breast tumours may become resistant to chemotherapy drugs. In work funded by Breast Cancer Campaign, Dr Blaydes and colleagues are investigating why this happens, and trying to find ways to prevent breast cancer cells from becoming resistant to chemotherapy. He has already had some exciting success in understanding how molecules called ‘CtBPs’ are involved in chemotherapy resistance. Ultimately his research could lead to new and improved chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer, increasing the chances of survival for patients.

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