Breast Cancer Now’s research achievements

For more than 25 years, our incredible supporters have made sure we’re able to fund the very best in breast cancer research – and thanks to them, that research has resulted in remarkable discoveries.

From game-changing new treatments to unlocking the secrets of our genes, our supporters’ generous donations have helped transform the outlook for patients. Now, thanks to them, we’re closer than we’ve ever been to stopping breast cancer taking the lives of the people we love. Here are some of the amazing steps we’ve taken towards that goal, made possible by people like you.

The UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research centre

In 1999, we opened the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre in London – the UK’s first facility dedicated solely to breast cancer research. Today, it houses more than 130 researchers whose discoveries have led to major breakthroughs in breast cancer.

Find out more about our work at the research centre

Discovering the BRCA2 gene

In 1995, we contributed to game-changing research that demonstrated a clear link between faults in the BRCA2 gene and the development of breast cancer. Genetic testing for BRCA2 faults now enables families who carry this gene to understand, and take measures to reduce, their risk of breast cancer.

Transforming treatments with PARP inhibitors

In 2005, our scientists published a landmark research paper which showed that a new class of drugs – called PARP inhibitors – could be used to treat breast and ovarian cancers caused by faulty BRCA genes. This discovery brought hope to thousands of women with a family history of breast cancer.

The Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank

In 2012, we opened the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank, the UK’s largest unique collection of breast tissue, breast cells and blood samples from breast cancer patients. These samples allow scientists to better understand the biology of breast cancer, and have contributed to many vital research projects.

Find out more about the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank


It is vital that scientists continue to develop new treatments to stop breast cancer.

Dr Helen Bryant, Breast Cancer Now Researcher