What is BRCA PROTECT?
BRCA PROTECT is a ground-breaking research programme at University College London (UCL) supported by women’s cancer charity, The Eve Appeal.
The aim of the programme is to understand the molecular events that lead to the development of breast and ovarian cancer, so that we can effectively predict and ultimately prevent the occurrence of these cancers. We hope to develop new preventive measures that will enable women to reduce their risk of developing these cancers, without the need for surgery, thereby expanding the range of options available to women at risk of cancer.
The role of the dedicated Research Clinic
A vital component of the programme is a dedicated Research Clinic inviting women to contribute to the research. Women with no known risk of cancer as well as women who are at higher risk because they carry a genetic mutation (BRCA1 / BRCA2 and those with Lynch Syndrome) will be offered the opportunity to donate three biosamples (a cervical smear, a cheek swab and a blood test), as well as tissue that may be removed during risk-reducing surgery.
A new strategy for prevention of women’s cancer
The team at UCL has already made major strides in understanding the causes of these cancers. Based on this research, the team is now ready to test new ways of preventing these devastating cancers, without the need for surgery. This has the potential to revolutionise the lives of women with BRCA mutations. Moreover, it will enable us to better understand how cancer develops in general, which will likely benefit all women.
Launch of the BRCA PROTECT Research Clinic
Our dedicated Research Clinic at University College London Hospital is open to women from a variety of backgrounds to participate in the research. The samples that women will be requested to provide will form the basis on which we will be able to test our risk-- prediction models. In a world-first, in terms of new preventative measures for female cancers, we will then test three different medical treatments to assess whether they lower the risk of women developing breast and ovarian cancer.