This year NBCF is celebrating 25 years of research and fundraising milestones. This includes the development of new drugs, treatments and screening methods. These will help to improve the detection of breast cancer and save lives. Since NBCF’s inception, fundraisers and supporters have helped us to raise $162 million towards 514 life-changing research projects.
Together, with the community’s support, we’ve made an undeniable impact on the face and future of breast cancer in Australia.
Thank you for your support.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is founded.
David Jones and Estee Lauder Companies join as Corporate Partners. Since this time hundreds of organisations have contributed over $60 million dollars to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The five year survival rate for breast cancer is 76 per cent.
NBCF funds the establishment of KConFab, a national and international resource to study familial breast cancer. Through kConFab, researchers in Australia and worldwide can now have access to 20 years of accumulated biological samples linked to extensive data to help determine the lifestyle and molecular causes of breast cancer. This has led to new strategies for prevention and new and better treatments.
Women in Super establishes the Mother’s Day Classic (MDC), now the major annual fundraising event for breast cancer research in Australia.
The Global Illumination campaign is launched with Estée Lauder Companies and iconic sites around Australia glow pink.
Named after Bill Galvin, their dedicated team leader who has since passed away, Team G decided to volunteer at NBCF to keep active, contribute to research and honour Bill’s memory. You will find them every Wednesday in the NBCF office at a table named in their honour; opening mail, having a chat and occasionally sharing a Tim Tam.
Pink Ribbon magazine, Australia’s first ever women’s magazine focused on breast cancer, hits news stands.
Over time Ford has raised $1.7 million for NBCF and breast cancer research.
NBCF launches its first-ever Pink Ribbon Breakfast campaign. This has since raised over $20 million for breast cancer research.
The long-standing collaboration between ghd and NBCF has raised more than $4.2 million for breast cancer research over the past 15 years.
The Professionals Real Estate group have been partners with NBCF since 2004 and have raised over $3.3 million dollars for breast cancer research. Each year Professionals members get together and hold fundraising events in their local community across Australia. They also make a donation to breast cancer research for each home sold.
NBCF releases Australia’s first-ever National Action Plan for breast cancer research and funding. Up until this time, Australia lacked a formal strategic plan for breast cancer research. The plan addresses the need for breast cancer funding and research to be coordinated at a national level and encourage collaboration at all levels – between researchers, advisors, community members and other key breast cancer organisations.
Taking on the voluntary role of chair of the Hobart Committee of NBCF, Judi immediately began rallying support, engaging sponsors and hosting events, such as The Pink Cup, Global Illumination events later to become Luminate Hobart, Pinktober, Shannons Take Your Tops Off for Breast Cancer Research,. Since then, she’s staged breakfasts, luncheons and gala dinners, sporting events and car shows, raising a staggering $400,000 profit – with every cent going to breast cancer research. Judi was recognised for her long term commitment to the NBCF by receiving the NBCF Patron’s award in 2013. She also has been awarded the National Australia Day Council Australian of the Year –TAS Local Hero in 2018, and has extended her role as a passionate advocate for breast cancer awareness participating as a committee member of Mother’s Day Classic event in Brisbane and many others community events across Australia.
NBCF establishes the Speakers Network, a community of over 100 Australian women and men who have been impacted by breast cancer. This remarkable group share their story and how breast cancer research has helped them. Speakers Network trainers Amanda Maltabarow and Chris have played an integral role in the program’s success.
NBCF funded researchers Professor Martha Hickey and Dr Belinda Thewes develop the first-ever comprehensive information toolkit aimed at young women with breast cancer dealing with the impact of menopause related symptoms of treatment.
Di Fincher and her team hold many events throughout the year to support NBCF: from movie nights, to health days and networking events.
The biggest event on the calendar is her incredible Pink Ribbon Breakfast which she holds every October at Flemington Victoria.
Professor John Hopper from the University of Melbourne conducts an important study on twins that showed that genetic factors play a major role in explaining why women of the same age have different mammographic densities.
The work has since gone on to show that genetic factors appear to explain about 60% of the wide variation in mammographic density, and has provided important clues about the genes driving breast cancer risk.
NBCF funds the establishment of the first Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, with collection centres and affiliate sites distributed across Australia. An important resource to support research, the overall aim of the Tissue Bank is to improve knowledge about the disease and manage breast cancer in the future.
To reduce the risk of breast cancer spreading, surgeons can remove most of the armpit’s lymph glands, an invasive procedure which has since been linked to complications. For this reason NBCF funded research, overseen by Professor Grantley Gill and Dr Neil Wetzig from the University of Sydney, which led to the development of a new technique called “sentinel node biopsy” (SNB). SNB involves locating and removing the first lymph gland(s) that a cancer may spread to. If no signs of disease are seen, the remaining glands need not be removed. In this way, many women may avoid the risks of more complex surgery.
The well-known PR personality Lisa has her own story of breast cancer having been diagnosed with the disease in 2007. Lisa has shown her passion for breast cancer research supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation through her products and her strong personal relationship.
Angela Miller, NBCF’s longest-serving volunteer, starts her volunteering role at NBCF. Angela volunteers in memory of her best friend Sue who died in October 2014. She is also driven by close family and friends who have experienced breast cancer. This includes her niece, who was unexpectedly diagnosed at 34. Her knowledge and experience are invaluable to our staff and community alike.
The Pink Ribbon Cup Raceday is the largest fundraising event held at the Gold Coast Turf Club in Queensland and Australia’s largest community fundraiser for NBCF. This year celebrates the 11th anniversary. This must attend fundraising event on the Gold Coast raised $90,503 in 2016, and in 2017, raised a record breaking $117,130 for life-changing breast cancer research with the generosity donations of the Gold Coast community. The woman behind this incredible day is Robyn Cameron. Robyn is not only the founder of the Pink Ribbon Cup Raceday, she has been the driving force behind many committees including the Global Illumination Gold Coast Committee, the Gold Coast Fundraising & Volunteer Committee and the Mother’s Day Classic Gold Coast Committee.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) approves Herceptin for early stage HER2 positive breast cancer. Caused by the over-production of HER2 protein, HER2 positive breast cancers grow fast, spread early and often relapse quickly when treated. Subsequently, the PBS approved Herceptin for Australians with advanced HER2 positive breast cancer. This has resulted in a 30% increase in the survival of HER2 + breast cancer patients. However, 15-20% of HER2+ breast cancer patients do not respond to Herceptin. Further, 50% of HER2+ patients become resistant to Herceptin. Numerous NBCF researchers are investigating new ways to make Herceptin-resistant tumours respond to Herceptin to make the treatment more effective.
NBCF launches Register4, Australia’s first online resource where the community can participate in and fast-track research.
Over the course of the partnership, ME Bank has raised close to one million dollars for NBCF.
Chartered Accountants began their partnership with NBCF by holding their Annual High Tea Debate, which is now in its 7th year and raises in excess of $25,000 per year. The company has also participated in two of NBCF’s Bridge to 2030 events and have been regular supporters of the Real Men Wear Pink and Go Pink campaigns.
NBCF funded research Dr Brendan Kennedy and his team at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in WA develop a world-first 3D printed finger-mounted optical imaging probe to remove cancerous cells during breast cancer surgery. Currently, it is difficult for surgeons to understand where cancer tissue ends and where normal tissue starts when performing surgery. Dr Kennedy’s smart surgical glove will ensure that the entire tumour is removed during initial surgery, helping breast cancer patients avoid further operations.
4 Ingredients have raised over $260,000 for NBCF from the sale of cookbooks and fundraising events.
One-third of Australian women newly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer will develop breast cancer-related lymphedema or swelling of the arm (BCRL). To help alleviate this, NBCF funded researcher Professor Julie Steele from the University of Wollongong led an innovative project to develop a world-first Lymph Sleeve made from ‘smart’ materials that mimics the experience of self-massage. Designed for women to wear daily, it helps to boost the effectiveness of other treatment such as laser therapy, medication and massage. As a result of Professor Steele’s research, the Lymph Sleeve is now being patented for commercialisation.
NBCF-funded research led by Professor John Simes from the University of Sydney reveals that tamoxifen can reduce the risk of recurrence in women that are high risk of getting breast cancer by up to one-third. This important discovery has helped to reduce breast cancer relapse rates, while also reducing the significant health and economic costs of recurrent disease.
NBCF publicly releases a world first, an independent evaluation of the impact of its program of breast cancer research called the Health Economics Research Group (HERG) Evaluation Report. Conducted by Brunel University in the UK, the HERG Report found that NBCF-funded research has had significant impact in key areas such as policy and decision making, development of new drugs and diagnostics, changes in clinical practice and gains in health and quality of life for women and men affected by breast cancer.
Robyn has had a successful career as a PR personality in Queensland directing and editing magazines such as Women’s Weekly, the Carousel Magazine, Women Love Tech and Game Changers.
During her years as an editor and publisher, Robyn published many stories including cover stories profiling women with breast cancer and was actively involved in promoting the work of NBCF, particularly in October.
One of the many stories she published was far more personal. It was the story of her mother, Dr Jacqueline Kerr, who has been affected by breast cancer and has remained involved with NBCF for many years raising awareness for breast cancer research for more than ten years.
NBCF’s ‘Circle of 10’ is a philanthropic initiative that brings together a group of influential women who are passionate about raising funds for breast cancer research. The group select a NBCF breast cancer research project to be funded over two years, helping to accelerate leading Australian breast cancer research to stop deaths from breast cancer and leave a legacy for future generations.
NBCF launches ‘Real Men Wear Pink’, a campaign that raises awareness about the impact of breast cancer on Australian men, both indirectly and directly. This is later renamed as Go Pink (launched in 2018).
The first-ever Steps Towards Research: Great Wall of China Trek raises close to $300,000 for NBCF. An energetic group of 44 women and men trekked the Great Wall to raise funds for life-changing breast cancer research, challenging themselves, seeing the amazing scenery and creating life-long friendships and unforgettable memories along the way.
Qantas joins forces with NBCF for Flypink, an employee engagement initiative held during October to raise funds for breast cancer research. The ongoing campaign has grown in strength every year through the strong support of the Qantas employee’s enthusiasm for the cause, raising over $150,000 in its first 2 years.
NBCF funded researcher Professor Dietmar Hutmacher from the Queensland University of Technology and his team developed a new gel made out of 3D printable material (called hydrogel) that mimics human tissue. They are currently using this as a ‘bioink’ to print 3D ‘microenvironments’ or models of a tumor to test different anti-cancer drugs. This will pinpoint an individualised treatment that will hit only the cancer cells, cutting down the process of finding a personalised treatment for breast cancer down to a week or two. As a result of this work, clinical trials are underway in Europe, USA, India and Singapore.
NBCF funded research Dr Samantha Oakes and her team from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research identify a new driver in the spread of breast cancer to other tissues. The research team, showed for the first time that, well-known ‘survival protein’ (MCL-1) is important in the spread (metastasis) of mammary tumours – and that blocking MCL-1 can decrease cancer spread. This is a significant development that paves the way for possible future combination therapies to be developed that may combat metastatic breast cancer.
The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer reaches all-time high of 90%.
Fundraiser Jake Ward runs a mammoth 1500km from the Gold Coast to his hometown of Cranbourne in Victoria and raises $50,000 for NBCF. Upon his arrival he proposes to his girlfriend Jess (who says yes).
HCF partners with NBCF and launches “Hands On” for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Hands On is an education initiative designed specifically to teach Australians what the possible signs of breast cancer feel like to help aid awareness. The integrated campaign is brought to life through experiential activations, media, digital, PR, in branch and social media.
Breast cancer becomes the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian women.
NBCF announces its new Endowed Chairs research program, an Australian-first ten year grant scheme for breast cancer research. The longer duration of the grants gives Australian researchers the focus that they need for the next big breakthrough in breast cancer research. Professors Elgene Lim and Sherene Loi are appointed as NBCF’s first-ever Endowed Chairs.
NBCF joins forces with the Movember Foundation to launch the first-ever Breast and Prostate Cancer Linkage Grant. The new grant funds research that jointly targets breast and prostate cancer research. This is awarded to Professor Wayne Tilley from the University of Adelaide for his research into a new treatment path targeting breast and prostate cancer that revamps the traditional method of hormone deprivation therapy (depriving the body of sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone).
NBCF hosts Bridge to 2030, a new fundraiser Australian corporates and community members that gives them the opportunity to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge on 18 May to ‘bridge the gap’ in breast cancer research funding. The event raised over $170,000 to help keep breast cancer researchers on the road to discovery.
NBCF welcomes the news of a new Medicare rebate for Australians diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer to test for the BRAC1 and BRAC 2 genes. NBCF funds some of Australia’s finest in the area of familial breast cancer including Professors Ian Campbell, John Hopper and Melissa Southey. These researchers have all played a role in improving testing mechanisms for BRAC1 and BRAC 2 genes as well as discovering more genes beyond these to help better determine the future risk of breast cancer for Australian men and women.
NBCF funded researcher Professor Georgia Chenevix-Trench from QIMR is one of the leaders in the world’s biggest ever genetic study of breast cancer, which collated and analysed data from 275,000 women across the globe. The study discovered 72 new genetic markers for the disease in the process, providing great scope for the development of a new predictive breast cancer test for women.
NBCF funded researcher Professor Geoff Lindemann from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute discovers that an existing medication currently used to treat osteoporosis could potentially be used to prevent breast cancer in women carrying the faulty BRCA1 gene. This means that women with high genetic risk of breast cancer have the option to delay or prevent the disease without having to undergo a mastectomy.
NBCF hosts a launch event for a new ‘Circle of 10’ in Brisbane, Queensland. The launch was hosted by journalist Marie-Louise Theile. NBCF funded researcher Dr Kara Britt from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria also gave a presentation about her research in the area of breast cancer prevention for young women.
NBCF funded Fellow Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre played a key role in an Australian-led trial of more than 250 women worldwide conducted by Breast Cancer Trials that showed pre-menopausal women who received monthly injections of a drug called Goserelin were more likely to become pregnant after their breast cancer treatment. As a result, Goserelin has now been listed on the PBS, making it more affordable for Australian breast cancer patients.
NBCF funded researcher Professor John Hopper from the University of Melbourne leads a game-changing study that provided a better understanding of the levels of risk of breast cancer for carriers of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation. The study, which involved almost 10,000 women in Australia, the US and Europe over 20 years, found that those with the BRCA1 mutation had, on average, a 72 per cent risk of developing breast cancer by the age of 80.The risk of developing ovarian cancer for those women was on average 44 per cent. For those with the BRCA2 mutation, the risk of breast cancer was 69 per cent and the lifetime risk of ovarian cancer was 17 per cent.
NBCF funded Fellow Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre launches a web-based tool called iPrevent® (www.iprevent.net,au) to help Australian women and their clinicians accurately know and appropriately manage their breast cancer risk.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne, led by NBCF funded researcher Professor Melissa Southey, identified 24 previously unknown epigenetic changes that alter a woman's risk of breast cancer and can be passed down through generations without involving changes in the DNA sequence of genes.
As part of the study, Professor Southey looked at 210 people from 25 multiple-case breast cancer families. They identified 24 previously unknown epigenetic changes that alter a woman's risk of breast cancer and can be passed down through generations without involving changes in the DNA sequence of genes.
NBCF funded researcher Associate Professor Kristofer Thurecht, from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology and Queensland University conducted a ground-breaking research project showing how a combination of chemistry and Magnetic Resonance Imaging and other scans can discern whether drugs to treat cancer like chemotherapy are heading to precisely the right place and at what rate the drugs are getting to the tumour.
His developments are important in the treatment of many cancers, including breast, and will potentially take cancer treatments a step closer to personalised medicine, with drug regimes tailored to suit each individual patient.
Professor Matt Trau from the University of Queensland, funded by NBCF since 2008, develops innovative blood test technology using gold nanoparticles to help track breast cancer spread and better determine the patient’s response to treatment. The technology, first tested in melanoma cells, monitors the diversity of individual cancer cells circulating in the body, also known as Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs).
Ultimately, the new test will help clinicians guide breast cancer therapy in real-time and ascertain how and why treatment resistance occurs.
Building on the success of Real Men Wear Pink campaign, NBCF re-launches it as Go Pink, challenging all the men, women, girls and boys of Australia to GO PINK for breast cancer research during the week of 18-24 June.
The 16th anniversary of the Pink Ribbon Breakfast campaign.
NBCF launches its Circle of 10 initiative in Melbourne at a special event hosted by the Director of the Bank of Melbourne Private at the Sofitel Hotel. Guests learned more about the work of Professor Sherene Loi, from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria, in the areas of genomics and immunotherapy.