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Cymraeg

Cardiff scientist aims to ‘switch off’ breast cancer

19 March 2008

Professor Dale and Irene James, AM

Irene James, Assembly Member for Islwyn, has visited Cardiff University researchers at the forefront in the fight against breast cancer.

Professor Trevor Dale, School of Biosciences, is studying the role of a molecule called ‘Wnt’ in breast cancer development. The research is funded by the Breast Cancer Campaign, the charity that aims to beat breast cancer by funding innovative world-leading research.

Wnt is normally only active during puberty and pregnancy and encourages breast stem cells to change and grow into new cells. Once this job is done it ‘switches off’.

Professor Dale thinks that genetic changes in breast stem cells can reactivate Wnt which causes stem cells to develop into breast cancer cells.

Professor Dale said: "My research aims to work out how Wnt is ‘switched off’ after puberty and pregnancy so that treatments can be developed to mimic this action in breast cancer."

PhD student Karina McQuillen, Irene James and Professor Dale

Irene James, AM for Islwyn, said "It was a privilege to be invited to see for myself some of the research that has been funded by the money raised by the Breast Cancer Campaign. Professor Dale and his team at Cardiff University are among the many talented scientists in Wales and we hope that ultimately they will find a way to beat breast cancer."

Medical and medical related research and education across the University’s School of Medicine, the School of Biosciences, Welsh School of Pharmacy and other academic schools are making a major contribution to tackling breast cancer.