LETTER:Serious research into breast cancer

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The Independent Online
From Dr Peter D. Brown

Sir: "Where's the serious research?" asks Esther Oxford in her article about "loony advice controlling breast cancer" ("Eat more soya and burn your bra", 30 May). The answer is that the serious research is there, in laboratories, in clinics.

We understand a great deal about breast cancer and new treatments are being developed. The "breast cancer gene" was an important result from years of painstaking research but, like many scientific discoveries in this field, it has been over-interpreted. There are many groups with a valid interest in making the most of their discoveries: governments, pharmaceutical companies, research charities, publishers. In this environment it is essential that news organisations properly evaluate the significance of a research finding. Regrettably, too much is indiscriminately passed on to the public - often with an inappropriate "spin" or claim.



Head of Therapeutic

Area - Oncology

British Biotec

31 May