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New research from scientists at the University of Nottingham, supported by Breast Cancer Now, shows how a group of proteins could tell us how different types of breast cancer might progress in the future.

The proteins are known as calpains and calpastatin, and they help cancer cells survive and spread around the body. The research undertaken by Professor Steven Martin at the University’s Translational and Radiation Biology Research group, studied large primary breast tumours with high levels of calpain. When these patients were given chemotherapy before surgery they were more likely to survive than patients with low calpain levels.

Dr Richard Berks, Senior Research Communications Officer at Breast Cancer Now, said:

"This research suggests that calpains and calpastatin, a family of proteins, could help predict the long term outlook for people with different types of breast cancer.

"It’s also possible that new breast cancer treatments could target these molecules, helping to improve survival rates by giving doctors another way to ensure patients get the right drug for them.

"However more work needs to be done to confirm these results first."

This research was funded by Breast Cancer Now, and was generously supported by ASDA’s Tickled Pink, Debenhams, Mattioli Woods, and The Thomas Farr Charity.  Professor Steven Martin spoke at the Mattioli Woods Charity Dinner in 2016 at Leicester Cathedral.

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