Alliance Councillor Geraldine Rice has urged cancer charities to consider pooling their research resources, after researchers at Queen’s University Belfast discovered that a fault in a gene could prevent the body’s immune system from fighting cancer cells.
It is understood that women with a faulty BRCA1 gene have between a 65% and an 85% chance of developing the disease at some point in their lives. They also have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Councillor Rice said it was critical that more research was done to discover why one gene played such an important role in determining why some women were at a greater risk of developing cancer.
Cllr Rice stated: “Researchers at Queen’s have made amazing progress, and that is good news for women everywhere. But there is still some way to go before we fully understand the impact of this discovery.
“It may be the case that through pooling some of their resources in this research area that more major breakthroughs can be made more quickly. That could mean pain being avoided and lives being saved in the future.”