November 25, 2016 0 comments

Breast Cancer Research Will Save Lives – Thanks to You!

Research supported by you allows a world-class team of researchers to dedicate their days and nights to fighting a heartbreaking disease that continues to devastate Australian families – breast cancer.

This research team, based at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research (BHI), is driven by passionate leaders who are tackling breast cancer from two different key angles – prevention and treatment. Thank you for making this research a reality!

Associate Professor Wendy Ingman and Dr Pallave Dasari along with their team at the Breast Biology and Cancer Unit at the BHI are focused on gaining a better understanding of breast cancer risk factors and how these can be tackled to a reduce a woman’s risk of this disease.

“More women are diagnosed with breast cancer than any other cancer. We are focused on understanding what is happening in the breast that would cause a woman’s risk to be higher or lower,” A/Prof Ingman said.

Prevention

Associate Professor Wendy Ingman
Associate Professor Wendy Ingman

With numerous projects underway, A/Prof Ingman is exploring important research areas such as investigating the window of breast cancer risk that opens up during a woman’s menstrual cycle, how pregnancy affects diagnosis and the role of mammographic breast density.

“We’ve been working with a number of PhD students on understanding what actually happens in the breast at that particular time of the menstrual cycle,” she said.

“We’re also investigating why a woman who goes through their first full term pregnancy at an early age actually halves their risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. We have exciting findings on this that we’ll be able to inform you of in the future.

“Our other main interest is mammographic breast density. Our research is exploring the cause of high density and the increased breast cancer risk associated with this, and we are looking at ways to reduce this risk. We have also been working hard at raising public awareness of breast density because high density can hide tumours on a mammogram.”

Treatment

In collaboration with A/Prof Ingman, Professor Andreas Evdokiou leads his group at the Breast Cancer Research Unit at the BHI as they investigate new ways of stopping the spread of breast cancer and targeting and treating breast cancer that has spread to other areas of the body, such as the bone

“Amongst our other projects we are currently collaborating with researchers in the Netherlands on the production of a gel substance. This gel can be mixed with cancer fighting cells so after surgery it can be injected directly in the local area where the fighting cells are slowly released killing any cancer left behind,” Prof Evdokiou said.

“Sometimes you can’t actually get to the tumour to surgically remove it because it is next to a crucial structure or patients are too fragile to handle radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This is where the gel would be helpful and we’re so excited to be able to continue this research with the support of you through Australian Breast Cancer Research.”

 

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