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kConFab – a national and international resource for research into familial breast cancer

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Professor

Stephen Fox

Breast cancer will affect one in eight Australian women and touch the lives of many families. About five per cent of breast cancer is due to an inherited gene defect – putting women and men in the family at risk. In order to understand, treat or even prevent these cancers, we need to study as many individuals from these families as possible.

kConFab is a resource for researchers and houses a collection of unique, detailed clinical, gene mutation data, blood and tissues on over 1700 breast and ovarian cancer families around Australia and New Zealand, information which is available throughout the world for ethically approved research.

It is now clear that studying breast cancers that occur in these families can teach researchers a lot about some of the most deadly breast cancers that occur in young women without a family history of breast cancer, extending the influence of kConFab well beyond inherited breast cancer.

NBCF has supported kConFab for 20 years, allowing it to continue to maintain and expand as a world-class resource, enabling research into the lifestyle and molecular causes of breast cancer, strategies for prevention, new treatments and psychosocial factors that may impact positive health outcomes for these women and their families.

kConFab is the only publicly available resource which collects fresh surgical specimens of familial breast cancer; there is no similar resource in Australia or worldwide. Through kConFab, researchers in Australia and overseas can have access 20 years of accumulated biological samples linked to extensive data.

kConFab has galvanised breast cancer research by supporting 161 research projects, (many funded by additional grants from NBCF), including overseas collaborative projects, some with commercial intent.

 

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Professor

Stephen Fox