Bryce, Janelle, Field Marketing Leader, Cytiva
For me support for breast cancer research is crucial. Research takes money and a lot of hard work, as it is the only way we will gain understanding of why each type occurs and how best to treat it. Finding a better treatment, vaccine or cure to eradicate will end the suffering of the many people who are affected by cancer every day. The sooner something can be found by researchers and be adopted by the cancer treatment industry the better it will be for all.
Myra Biblowit, President & CEO
Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
Research is the reason there are more than 3.5 million survivors in the U.S. today. And yet more than 40,000 American women and men continue to die from metastatic breast cancer each year. We firmly believe that research is the only path towards bringing the number of deaths down to zero. The future of breast cancer lies in more effective tools and therapies for prevention—to stop cancer before it starts—and in therapies that can transform breast cancer from life-threatening to manageable.
In just the last few years we have seen major leaps forward to reduce overtreatment—optimizing care for patients based on their individual disease characteristics. Last year, the BCRF-funded TAILORx study reported findings demonstrating that 70% of women with some early stage cancers can avoid chemotherapy. This was ground-breaking—directly improving patient care by providing the right treatment for women who benefit the most.
Photo by Leigh Beckett
We are on the cusp of ending breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. The collective strength of our partners propels research forward, faster. BCRF scientists around the globe are working tirelessly towards our goal of eradicating breast cancer as we know it.
Dorraya el-Ashry, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Throughout my career, I have trained a number of graduate students and fellows, and I’m proud that they continue to advance breast cancer research in their careers. I am also proud that my career led to my current role as Chief Scientific Officer of BCRF. Here, I not only continue to have an impact on breast cancer research but now a very broad impact beyond my own work—to end deaths from breast cancer and ultimately prevent breast cancer.
Recently, the focus of our lab turned to those cells that surround, support, and drive many of the aggressive behaviors of the cancer cells, and in particular, a cell type known as cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs). We discovered that these CAFs move along with circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patient blood and play important roles in breast cancer metastasis. Importantly, we have found that they help the circulating cancer cells get out of blood vessels at sites of metastases and establish metastases quicker.
Photo by Patrick Lyn
Our work on circulating CAFs also has the potential to impact patient care and outcome. My hope is that our research will help identify which patients are at risk for metastasis through liquid biopsies (blood tests), to allow early interventions to prevent metastasis from occurring and identify new targets for therapeutic intervention.
What does the future hold?
The future of healthcare lies in the truly personalized approach to treatment. and BCRF researchers are involved in every aspect. One of the projects BCRF currently funds is looking to sequence the DNA of over 1,000 metastatic breast cancer patients to understand metastasis. Understanding and finding ways to prevent and treat metastasis would change the very nature of breast cancer, and indeed, all cancers.
Jordi Carreras Puigvert, PhD
Óscar Fernández-Capetillo Laboratory
Division of Genome Biology
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics
Karolinska Institutet, SciLifeLab,
Tomtebodavägen 23A, Solna, Sweden
The proudest and most exciting moments in research are the ones in which I am able to discuss new screening approaches with my colleagues, brainstorming until we have an eureka moment where we draw a plan and we get to work on it. These moments tell me to go on with what we do until we find a better way to help and treat patients.
In my lab, we focus on the use of high-throughput phenotypic screens for drug discovery. In other words, we search for new drugs by using large numbers of potential drugs and observing their effect on cultured cancer cells. One of the big questions we want to address is why certain breast cancer tumors become resistant to hormone therapy. Once we know how this happens, then we will be able to search for an alternative therapy. Another big question that we want to answer is how the immune checkpoints are regulated in breast cancer.
Each patient is different, and there is no silver bullet. We need to test each patient’s tumors against potential drugs and work with oncologists and pathologists to determine the best treatment. Genetic data is, of course, important, but we now know that a genetic profile cannot fully predict a drug response. Therefore, rapid testing drug responses with samples of the patient’s tumors, I believe is much more informative and efficient and will hopefully provide better treatments.
We asked some Cytiva employees, “What does Cytiva’s Think Pink campaign mean to you?”
General Manager of Laboratory Filtration
There is a lot of enthusiasm across the team to make a difference with the campaign to support the BCRF, as it clear that this disease touches most people’s lives in one way or another.
I really appreciate the fact that as a team we can do campaigns like this where we can give something back to scientific research.
Product Sales Specialist, Cancer Survivor
I am very proud to share the Think Pink Campaign with our customers so they too can contribute to the fight against breast cancer. It’s also an important way to make connections on a personal level. There are customers who are looking forward to the 2019 campaign because breast cancer has affected their lives in a personal way.
Commercial Modality Leader, Australia-New Zealand Region
This is an opportunity for the Australia-New Zealand team to play a role in increasing cancer awareness and to give back support to an industry that works hard to support patients. It’s a fantastic feeling being able to give something back.
Consumables Global Leader
We are a team who contributes to better healthcare with an awareness that patient care and disease starts with a person—someone’s mother, grandmother, sister or even one’s self. Think Pink reminds me how fortunate we are as a team and how much it brings us together to share a common purpose. I am proud and tremendously humble to be a part of this program.
Li Hua Yu
Sales GM, Cytiva Bio-Pharma, China
This is the first time the China team is participating in the Think Pink campaign. I hope we can bring more attention to women’s health, and through our efforts contribute to enabling breast cancer research and improving patients’ lives.