Preventative mastectomy is the most effective way to stop women who are genetically at risk of breast cancer from developing it, but surgery can come with both physical and psychological harm.
Dr Vanessa Lattimore and her team are seeking a new way to reduce breast cancer risk in high-risk women through the use of antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapy. This form of gene editing has already been used successfully to reverse symptoms in genetic disorders such as spinal muscular atrophy, by fixing faulty genes. The potential of ASOs is an unexplored area for breast cancer prevention and could be the vital first step to developing personalised preventive treatment to lower the risk of breast cancer for those genetically predisposed to it.
Breast Cancer Foundation NZ is funding this project in partnership with the Health Research Council of New Zealand and Breast Cancer Cure.