National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre
Our Research: Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Developing and improving models for risk stratification

Optimising breast cancer screening and expanding our approach to fight other common cancers.

We believe that we can optimise our approach to Cancer Prevention and Early Detection by calculating an individual’s total cancer risk.

For many common cancers, risk is related to combinations of lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors. Over recent years researchers have identified hundreds of genetic variations and gene mutations which can switch protective tumour suppression genes off, as well as moderate- and high-risk genes for many cancers.

Through our research we are:

  • Further refining this approach by analysing DNA samples collected through the Predicting the Risk Of Cancer At Screening (PROCAS and PROCAS-2) studies using exome sequencing, to identify all known and suspected breast cancer genes and assess known breast cancer gene mutation risk.
  • Increasing the amount of information available to produce accurate risk assessments and more personalised care.
  • Developing and validating rules for differentiating between those at low, high and moderate risk of breast cancer and other common cancers (lung, endometrial, colorectal, ovarian and prostate).

This research will be supported by our biomarker and genomics expertise.

Progress to date

Future work

  • Identifying young women at high risk of breast cancer.
  • Development of an endometrial cancer risk tool.
  • Improving risk identification in Lung cancer using common variants.