A campaign against testing on animals for breast cancer research has launched, urging people to fund new research using non-animal alternative methods. Breast cancer affects one in eight women in the UK and Animal Free Research UK are hoping to raise £90,000 in funds for the research.
The studies that will take place aim to find an effective strategy to prevent breast cancer, and assess if hormone disrupting chemicals in our environment make the breast more vulnerable to breast cancer.
PETA have previously pointed out that testing human treatments and drugs on animals often fails, with the National Institute of Health having a 90 per cent failure rate on animal experiments. Similar results also come from pharmaceutical drug trials, with 95 per cent of drugs tested as safe and effective when tested on animals, but subsequently failing in human trials.
On the charity’s website, Animal Free Research UK says: “The research will not use any animals or animal-derived materials. It will be done using fibroblasts generated from human breast tissue, of consenting patients, with different mammographic densities.
“The team will work with clinicians to explore how human breast fibroblasts respond to endocrine disrupting agents. Complex 3D laboratory models will then be used to examine how this may contribute to breast cancer development.”
Fibroblasts are cells that contribute to breast tissue density, and can influence other cells found in the breast, which can then grow uncontrollably and develop into tumours. Scientists believe that women with higher breast densities could have a higher risk of breast cancer, due to the activity of fibroblasts.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals can mimic the action of hormones, and some are naturally found in plants, but most are artificial and found in some plastics, personal care products, cosmetics, domestic cleaning products and food and drinks.
This campaign is a big step in the right direction to ending the use of animals in medical experiments. You find out more about the campaign and donate to the cause here. Following the news last week about New York planning to ban the sale of animal tested cosmetics, which you can read about here, big steps to end animal testing are being taken and hopefully, one day, end the practice of animal testing.