Thursday, 3 May 2012

Trip down memory lane and exciting news.

Wednesday, May 2 was a day in three parts.  Part one was when I had a very enjoyable lunch with a former colleague and then went back to Breast Cancer Campaign to say hello and generally get in the way of everyone trying to work.  The visit was fortuitous as I was there when the whole charity came together to have a quick debrief on some momentous news which hit the headlines on Tuesday.

Breast Cancer Campaign scientific fellow, Dr James Flanagan has uncovered the first strong evidence that molecular or ‘epigenetic’ changes in a gene can be associated with breast cancer risk and can be detected many years before breast cancer develops. (These findings could also have important implications for predicting risk in other cancers, as the gene highlighted in his study has been linked with a number of other cancers, including lymphoma and leukaemia.)

The implications of this are far-reaching as we may be able to develop a simple blood test, which could be done years in advance of the disease developing to identify risk and actions taken to address this: early days but very promising.

I was especially delighted to be there as I was on the interview panel when James was awarded his fellowship and he came over then as the great communicator and brilliant scientist he has subsequently proved to be. His research was funded by Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign so keep buying the pink stuff in October – my Tickled Pink wellies are proving rather useful at the moment!

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