Targeting early detection, treatment and quality of life of breast cancer, the National Breast Cancer Foundation has invested $11 million into 20 cancer research projects, supporting a total of 73 Australian researchers.
On average, eight people die from breast cancer every day, and it is the profound impact of this disease which inspires and drives the following researchers who will be funded this year:
BREAST CANCER RESEARCH PROJECTS: PREVENTION/EARLY DETECTION
An estimated 18,087 females and 148 males will develop breast cancer in Australia in 2018, a 13.2% increase from 2017. With effective early detection and treatment strategies in place, it is estimated that only 6.5% deaths are estimated to result from breast cancer from these statistics. However 5-50% of cancers are missed on screening.
Professor Patrick Brennan will study previous mammograms with “visible signs of cancer”, which were reported as normal, to identify factors that contribute to missed cancers. This will also help to identify women at a higher risk of future cancers and facilitate early detection and treatment of the disease.
BREAST CANCER RESEARCH PROJECTS: DETECTION
Metastatic breast cancer is when breast cancer spreads beyond the breast. It is challenging to treat and is the biggest hurdle to saving lives from breast cancer. Breast cancer cells can remain dormant for long periods of time and appear in distant organs many years later, which may leads to some breast cancers becoming metastatic.
To help Australians affected by metastatic breast cancer, is essential that new laboratory technologies are found to detect when a small number of dormant cancer cells are still present after treatment , which are impossible to detect.
Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson is developing a new blood test which acts as a ‘liquid biopsy’, an alternative to invasive tissue biopsies. The test will improve breast cancer detection and detect relapse.
BREAST CANCER RESEARCH PROJECTS: TREATMENT
Professor Riccardo Dolcetti is developing new strategies to improve personalised immunotherapy of breast cancer. He has developed a method to identify unique molecules (also known as antigens) expressed by each individual breast cancer that can be targeted with personalised immunotherapy – using parts of one’s immune system to target the cancer.
This is just a selection of breast cancer research projects funded by NBCF in 2018; the full range of projects can be viewed here.
DONATE TO NBCF-FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
NBCF are 100% community funded – you can help NBCF achieve its goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030 by donating below: