SOURCE: Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

August 19, 2015 09:46 ET

Targeted Research Helps Change the Breast Cancer Landscape

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Announces $7.5 Million Investment in New Research

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - August 19, 2015) - Researchers in Ontario are zeroing in on innovative solutions to breast cancer, thanks to an investment in new grants by Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). With the support of our generous donors, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region is pleased to announce $7.5 million in funding for 24 new research project grants and fellowship awards.

The grants awarded by CBCF will expand our knowledge and improve practice in all areas of breast cancer, including prevention, detection, treatment and support for individuals living with the disease.

"CBCF supports research with impact," says Dr. Ralph George, Chair of CBCF's Research and Health Care Advisory Committee. "These winning projects will take on some of the most important research challenges in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment through innovative approaches."

One of the goals of CBCF's investments in new project grants and fellowships is to support research that will lead to an improved understanding of this complex disease. For example, while advances in early detection and treatment have seen significant declines in breast cancer-related deaths, some forms still defy treatment, including triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Dr. Juliet Daniel of McMaster University will study TNBC, specifically why it is more common in women of African Ancestry than it is in Caucasian women.

"The high prevalence of TNBC in women of African Ancestry strongly suggests a genetic predisposition to this breast cancer subtype. By focusing on this population of women, we hope to identify early indicators of this aggressive disease and/or new targets for successful treatment," explains Daniel. "More importantly however, we hope our work will close the racial disparities gap and improve breast cancer outcomes for all triple negative breast cancer patients."

Further research investments include, newly awarded CBCF grant winner Dr. Alison Allan who is taking on one of the most common and deadly sites for breast cancer metastasis -- the lung. Allan, from Western University, will study the lung environment to determine whether specific proteins can mediate breast cancer metastasis.

"The underlying factors that cause and regulate breast cancer metastasis remain poorly understood," says Allan. "This project will help uncover new lung-specific molecular factors that contribute to this process, with the overall goal of translating this knowledge into new therapeutic agents to better treat breast cancer and better identify and track metastasis in patients."

Dr. Nancy Baxter, from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, on the other hand, aims to answer an important question: what happens to women after they have been tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes? "To date, we have had little information about the choices women make after testing," says Baxter, "We will follow a large group of women after testing to determine patterns of screening and surgery, and if the medical decisions they make influence their risk of future cancers." Baxter will evaluate the impact of genetic testing using a database of over 10,000 Ontarian women -- almost 70 percent of Ontario women who have received the test.

Investments in research grants and fellowships are improving how breast cancer is prevented, detected, and treated, and how those who have experienced breast cancer can live healthier and longer lives. Research is moving us closer towards creating a future without breast cancer.

About the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is the leading community driven organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer. Our investments in innovative and relevant research and education have led to progress in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Since 1986, we have been at the forefront of a nationwide movement supporting and advocating for the breast cancer community.

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Contact Information

  • For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

    Liron Davis
    Communications Manager
    416-815-1313 ext. 880