If Not For BCRF...
Since 1993, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® has raised over $440 million to support lifesaving breast cancer research programs. In 2012-2013, the Foundation is funding the investigations of 197 scientists worldwide. The expertise of our Scientific Advisors, led by Dr. Larry Norton of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, assures that we are able to identify the best research, and therefore put our dollars where they will have maximum impact.
Scientists supported by The Breast Cancer Research Foundation are responsible for these and many other critical discoveries... and the work con- tinues until breast cancer is a disease of the past.
WE WOULD KNOW MUCH LESS ABOUT GENETICS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO BREAST CANCER.
BCRF-supported scientists have created the most comprehensive database of breast cancer genes ever assembled. They are also studying the inherited genes that may give you a high risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer, or that may protect you from developing either.
WE COULD STILL BE THINKING OF BREAST CANCER AS ONE DISEASE, RATHER THAN A COLLECTION OF DISEASES.
The complexity of breast cancer is an insight uncovered by scientists, many of whose work is funded by BCRF. The currently known breast cancer molecular subtypes are: luminal A, luminal B, HER2, and triple negative (which often includes "basal-like" disease). Each breast cancer type has its own distinct patterns of progression and affects the effectiveness of therapies. This information has enabled the development of personalized medicine, where oncologists can "tailor-fit" a patient's treatment according to the type of breast cancer she has.
WE WOULD HAVE FEWER DRUGS THAT HIT SPECIFIC TARGETS IN BREAST CANCERS.
Our scientists have significantly improved oncologists' ability to treat breast cancer while causing fewer side effects. BCRF funds helped to develop and test Herceptin® (trastuzumab), a targeted therapy for HER2+ breast cancer. This drug was reported in 2005 to decrease the risk of recurrence for patients by 50 percent. There are many other targeted therapies currently under study by BCRF investigators.
WE WOULD BE LESS ADVANCED IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF BREAST CANCER RECURRENCE AND METASTASIS.
BCRF scientists are searching for reliable and accurate markers that will help physicians identify individuals who are at greatest risk for breast cancer recurrence and metastasis. They are developing ways to enable doctors to stay steps ahead of the disease so that they may treat the recurrence or metastasis as early as possible - or, ideally, even before - it takes place. They are creating clinical interventions, using existing drugs and complementary approaches including natural supplements, to help deter recurrence and metastasis.
WE WOULD STILL BE TREATING MANY PATIENTS WHO DO NOT NEED THERAPY.
BCRF-funded studies in the US and Europe have contributed to the development of diagnostic tools for doctors to evaluate whether a woman may forego chemotherapy and receive the same benefit from hormonal therapies. Preventing overtreatment has allowed patients to avoid unnecessary side effects.
WE WOULD KNOW MUCH LESS ABOUT HOW GOOD NUTRITION AND EXERCISE CAN PREVENT MANY BREAST CANCERS.
BCRF investigations are substantiating the connections among diet, exercise, and health - demonstrating that a low-fat diet and regular exercise can have a significant effect on preventing breast cancer incidence, prognosis, and recurrence, even in women at high risk due to genetic predisposition.
WE WOULD BE LESS ADVANCED IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF CANCER STEM CELLS.
The BCRF-supported scientists who discovered breast cancer stem cells - the "roots" of breast cancer that behave differently than other tumor cells - are finding out how they work and are developing therapies designed specifically to kill them.
WE - ALL OF US, ALL OVER THE WORLD - WOULD BE FURTHER FROM OUR GOAL OF PREVENTION AND CURE IN OUR LIFETIME.
BCRF will go anywhere in the world where there is great research. Today, BCRF funds research in more than a dozen countries - dramatically improving diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of breast cancer that aids women across the globe.