Breast Cancer Research: Research Advocacy

bc-research-mtp-pinkAt Susan G. Komen®, we have a unique community of dedicated volunteer research advocates, who, through our Advocates in Science (AIS) program, work to reduce the burden of breast cancer in their communities.

Research advocates bring the patient’s voice to research, ensuring that the unique and valuable perspectives of breast cancer patients, survivors and co-survivors are integrated into the scientific dialogue and decisions, which impact progress toward ending breast cancer.

Research advocates play a variety of roles throughout the research process. Advocates do everything from educating others about research to participating in research grant peer reviews and working with or as part of scientific teams to help prioritize, develop and implement research projects.

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/WhatWeDo/WeFundResearch/BringingthePatientVoicetoResearch/BringingthePatientVoicetoResearch.html

Breast Cancer Research: Young Researchers

bc-research-mtp-pinkSusan G. Komen® continues to look to the future of breast cancer research by supporting early career scientists and developing the next generation of leaders in breast cancer research and clinical care.

Recalling our history, you’ll find Komen’s promise to “energize the science” has included funding young investigators since 1990. Now, some of those first young investigators are among the best “seasoned” breast cancer researchers in the world , including some  who are now Komen Scholars- (members of Komen’s advisory group which helps to guide Komen’s research and scientific programs and other mission programs). They are dedicated to Komen and breast cancer research and are now guiding new young minds to join them.

The field of breast cancer research has consistently attracted new minds to the pursuit of the cures. Unfortunately, with lagging funding everywhere and fewer jobs available in academic research, it has become harder to keep young scientists in the field . Without these future leaders and a dedicated workforce, our progress against the disease will not happen. That’s where the Komen Research Program comes in – by providing critical funding that supports the continued research, and thus the continued careers, of these promising scientists. But, we need everyone to help raise the dollars to fund the research.

Research is our investment in the future for our children and friends, an investment in a future without breast cancer.

Learn more about how Komen funds research: http://ww5.komen.org/WhatWeDo/WeFundResearch/HowWeFundResearch/HowWeFundResearch.html

Breast Cancer Research: Triple Negative Breast Cancer

bc-research-mtp-pinkTriple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer that does not express hormone receptors (ER-, PR-) or HER2/neu (HER2-) About 15 to 20 percent of breast cancers diagnosed today in the U.S. are TNBC. These tumors tend to occur more often in younger women and African-American women. Women who carry a mutated BRCA1 gene tend to have breast cancers that are triple negative. Triple negative tumors are often aggressive.

Today there are no targeted therapies specifically for TNBC. However, triple negative breast cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. More research is needed to better understand how this cancer develops and how it can be treated more effectively. And that is what Susan G. Komen® is doing.

Komen has invested more than $98 million in more than 130 research grants focused on triple negative breast cancer since it was first identified as a distinct type of breast cancer in 2006. This research has helped us to understand that:

  • There are at least 6 different subtypes of TNBC, each with different abnormalities, which may be treated using drugs that are specific to these abnormalities.
  • A combination of a new drug called a PARP inhibitor plus standard chemotherapy may be more effective at killing TNBC than chemotherapy alone.
  • A blood test that measures the presence of a specific set of genes may be used to identify TNBC patients with BRCA mutations, resulting in earlier intervention and improved treatment.

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/TripleNegativeBreastCancer.html

http://ww5.komen.org/uploadedFiles/_Komen/Content/What_We_Do/We_Fund_Research/Your_Research_Dollars_at_Work/2015%20TNBC%20FF(1).pdf

Breast Cancer Research: Clinical Trials

bc-research-mtp-pinkWhen it comes to cancer, clinical trials are one of the biggest reasons we’ve seen gains in breast cancer survival over the past 40 years. And improved survival hasn’t been the only benefit.

Quality of life for people living with cancer has also improved as trials have helped identify more targeted treatments that can help limit many of the side effects of cancer therapies.

Most of us have heard the term “clinical trials” but haven’t given it much thought. Like a lot of important things that fly under the radar, clinical trials have had a huge impact on society.

At their most basic, clinical trial studies done in people test the safety and effectiveness of ways to prevent, detect or treat disease. Participants may benefit from clinical trials themselves, or their participation may benefit others in the future. They are the first to receive new treatments under investigation and, in cancer clinical trials, are guaranteed to receive the best standard care possible. And, clinical trials offer a way for women with breast cancer to play an active role in their own health care and help others by adding to medical research.

Most clinical research progresses through an orderly series of steps, called phases. This allows researchers to ask and answer questions in a way that results in reliable information, yet protects patients. Most clinical trials are classified into one of four phases, though there can be some overlap between types depending on the study.

Phase 1 (phase I): These first studies in people evaluate how a new drug should be given (by mouth, injected into the blood, or injected into the muscle), how often and what dose is safe

Phase 2 (phase II):A phase II trial continues to test the safety of the drug, and begins to evaluate how well the new drug works against a certain disease

Phase 3 (phase III): These studies test a new drug, a new combination of drugs or a new surgical procedure in comparison to the current standard of care. A participant will usually be assigned to the standard group or the new group at random (called randomization).

Phase 4 (phase IV): Trials study the long-term side effects of the treatments or procedures or answer new questions about the treatment or procedure.  They are done after a new breast cancer treatment or procedure is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

There are many sources you can use for finding clinical trials. Each is a little different and some allow searching for trials based on factors like age, gender, breast cancer history, treatment history and geographic area as well as study-type preferences. For example, BreastCancerTrials.org in collaboration with Susan G. Komen®, offers a custom matching service that can help you find a clinical trial that fits your health needs. Though these sites can be helpful search tools, the best approach is to ask your doctor or local medical center for help finding an appropriate clinical trial.

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/ClinicalTrials.html

http://ww5.komen.org/WhatWeDo/WeFundResearch/ClinicalTrialsWeAreFunding/ClinicalTrialsWeAreFunding.html

Breast Cancer Research: Progress Toward the Cures

bc-research-mtp-pinkMedical research has led to more effective treatments and earlier detection of breast cancer, which contributed to a 37 percent decline in the death rate between 1990 and 2013. Today, more than 3 million people in the U.S. are breast cancer survivors.

Medical research has contributed to:

  • Improved screening and early detection
  • Less invasive surgery
  • Improvements in breast reconstruction
  • Widespread option for breast-conserving surgery
  • Extensive use of sentinel node biopsy
  • More effective chemotherapy
  • More effective hormonal therapy
  • Development and use of targeted therapy
  • Dramatic changes in quality of life for survivors

Learn more about Komen’s research accomplishments: http://ww5.komen.org/WhatWeDo/WeFundResearch/ResearchAccomplishments/ResearchAccomplishments.html

Breast Cancer Research: Komen’s Impact

bc-research-mtp-pinkResearch is one of our best weapons against breast cancer. Over the past 30 years, it has fueled our knowledge of breast cancer and helped us understand that breast cancer is not just a single disease but many diseases, unique to each individual.

Susan G. Komen® funds more breast cancer research than any other private nonprofit, while also delivering real-time help to those facing the disease. Since 1982, Komen has funded more than $920 million in research in 48 states and 21 countries. Thanks to the generosity of donors and supporters, Komen is funding lifesaving research in all areas of breast cancer, from basic biology to prevention to treatment and to survivorship.

With continued support, this scientific research will address some of the most pressing issues in breast cancer today:

  • Identifying and improving methods of early detection
  • Ensuring more accurate diagnoses
  • Enabling personalized treatments based on breast cancer subtypes and the genetic make-up of a tumor
  • Understanding why some tumors metastasize, and others don’t

Komen also continues to support all levels of breast cancer researchers, from established investigators and leaders in the field to young scientists and clinicians who will serve as the next generation of leaders. And our research dollars help support not only scientific research and clinical trials, but also research partnerships and collaborations, scientific conferences and research education.

Read more about the impact of Komen-funded research:

http://ww5.komen.org/WhatWeDo/WeFundResearch/WeFundResearch.html

Susan G. Komen Sets Bold Goal to Reduce U.S. Breast Cancer Deaths by 50 Percent in 10 Years

Susan G. Komen® Sets Bold Goal to Reduce U.S. Breast Cancer Deaths by 50 Percent in 10 Years

Plan Targets Health Equity for All, Enhanced Research Focus for Most Lethal Breast Cancers

DALLAS – Sept.13, 2016 – The Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization announced a bold plan today to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in 10 years, by improving access to quality and timely cancer care for the underserved and enhancing Komen’s research focus on lethal breast cancers.

“We know that people die of breast cancer for two reasons: a lack of high-quality breast cancer care accessible to everyone, and a lack of treatments for the most aggressive and deadly forms of this disease,” said Dr. Judith A. Salerno, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “We are taking direct action designed to solve these problems to reduce breast cancer deaths by half in the U.S. within the next decade.”

bold-goal

$27 Million Advanced for Health Equity 

Salerno said today that Fund II Foundation made a grant worth approximately $27 million for a  program initially targeting 10 metropolitan areas to significantly reduce what she called the “appalling” difference in death rates between African-American and white women. African-American women are nearly 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women; in some cities, that gap is as high as 74 percent.

“This constitutes a public health crisis that must be addressed, first in the cities where these death rates are highest, and then in all areas of the country,” Salerno said.

Salerno thanked Fund II Foundation for the grant that makes the initiative possible. “The generosity of Fund II Foundation will save lives,” Salerno said. “We are humbled by the faith that Fund II Foundation has placed in this initiative and its interest in ensuring health equity for African-American citizens.”

Fund II Foundation President, Robert F. Smith said, “No longer should African-American women be more likely to die from a breast cancer diagnosis than others. Through this grant supporting Susan G. Komen, Fund II Foundation will help address these unfair disparities across our country.”

Komen’s African-American Health Equity Initiative targets cities where mortality rates and late-stage diagnosis of African-American women are highest. The goal: to reduce the mortality gap by 25 percent within five years of beginning work in each city.

The initial targeted cities are Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., Dallas, Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, Va., Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.  Baltimore and Detroit have been identified as high-priority areas as the program expands over the next year.

The African-American Health Equity Initiative supplements the work that Komen and its network of 100 U.S. Affiliates already are doing to remove barriers to cancer care. Komen and Komen Affiliates support thousands of local programs that provide screenings, treatment assistance, emergency financial aid, medical supplies and living expense for underserved individuals.

The organization has invested more than $2 billion over 34 years for these programs aimed at uninsured, under-insured, and medically vulnerable populations.

“We will never waver from our commitment to remove barriers of language, geography, economics or culture for all people facing this disease.  Every woman or man must be able to access and receive high-quality breast health and breast cancer care, be supported through their treatment and into survivorship,” Salerno said.

Research

The second prong of Komen’s plan enhances Komen’s focus on aggressive forms of breast cancer and metastatic disease (stage IV or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body).

As the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research (investing more than $920 million since inception), Komen has funded nearly $160 million in metastatic disease research since its founding. Komen has funded another $110 million in research on aggressive forms of breast cancer – such as triple negative, inflammatory breast cancer and hormone-positive forms of breast cancer – that are resistant to standard treatments.

“The majority of breast cancer deaths are from metastatic breast cancer. We also know that aggressive forms of breast cancer are more likely to recur and spread, so we are focusing our efforts in both of these areas,” Salerno said.

The new initiative aims to advance research into new treatments for aggressive and metastatic disease. Komen also will seek to leverage next-generation technology that can detect breast cancer at its very earliest stages to prevent recurrence and metastasis.

Progress to Date

Salerno said Komen’s bold goal builds on the progress of the breast cancer movement since Komen was founded in 1982. “Death rates from breast cancer have declined by 37 percent since 1990. We have more treatments than at any time in our history. We’ve come a very long way from a time when breast cancer couldn’t be discussed publicly. Our new bold goal requires us to take a deeper dive and stretch further to ensure that every woman or man can be told, ‘There is help and hope for you.’”

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $920 million in research and provided more than $2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.

About Fund II Foundation

Fund II Foundation makes grants to 501(c)(3) public charities in five areas:  1) preservation of the African-American experience, 2) safeguarding human dignity by giving a voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights 3) improving environmental conservation and providing outdoor education that enables people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy the numerous benefits of the great outdoors 4) facilitating music education, particularly in primary and secondary schools, to nourish both the mind and the soul 5) and sustaining the uniquely American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, innovation and security.  For more information on Fund II Foundation, visit www.fund2foundation.org.