Breast cancer patients needed for new Norfolk trial

Aproperty transaction took place for £12.7m on the Quadram Institute. Pic: Archant

The Quadram Institute. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

Breast cancer patients are being sought to help in a new trial exploring how gut microbes could improve cancer therapies. 

Experts at Quadram Institute, University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have launched the BEAM study, one of the few trials exploring the gut and breast cancer. 

The team is looking for participants aged between 30 and 60 recently diagnosed with breast cancer to donate their tissue for research and to begin with give stool samples for the team to see what microbes are present and also missing. 

The microbes could be the "unlikely heroes" in the fight against breast cancer says the research team.

Nancy Teng, study leader, sai: "I am truly fascinated by how a collection of bacteria could have such a big impact on our health. Attempting to understand how such bacteria can affect us could provide many opportunities to develop new therapies.

“The chance to contribute to improving patient care is a chance to be a part of a future solution to breast cancer therapies. By learning more about breast cancer and the microbiome, we can provide new ideas for improved treatments and technologies to improve the outcome for patients."

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in women in the UK with survival rates improving in the last 20 years due to breakthroughs in screening programmes and cancer therapies. 

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The research team said more still needs to be done with most research currently taking place in cancers of the gut and skin.

The project will draw on the work of Quadram's Dr Stephen Robinson, Professor Lindsay Hall and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's NRB Biorepository facility. 

Miss Teng said: "Research in the last three to five years has started looking at the link. 

"We have the opportunity to try and understand how gut bacteria and breast cancer how they are linked.

"I've spoken to one patient and they have said they are quite excited that she can contribute and donate to science."

To find out more about the study contact NRP Biorepository on 01603 289221 or by email