We’re about to enter into Breast Cancer Awareness month, and while some people argue that breast cancer has almost universal awareness these days, what is less commonly known, is that breast cancer kills 8 Australian women, every day.
8 women. Every day.
It is still a very deadly disease and while treatments for early stage breast cancer can be very effective in most cases, for those women (and some men) who progress to advanced breast cancer, the prognosis can be poor. So we’re always excited to share the news of discoveries through research that may one day soon, provide these patients with new hope for a longer life.
Recently our friends at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research announced an exciting discovery. In collaboration with researchers in the USA, they were able to identify immune cells that can effectively hunt down tumour cells, putting them on a sort of “pause” mode. In these cases, the break-away tumour cells were unable to grow. So the challenge for our superstar scientists now, is to figure out how to create the same outcome, in the tumour cells that breakaway and do grow (i.e. metastatic cancer). The patient would still have cancer, but would be able to get on with life, without their cancer progressing in the normal way. Once researchers have been able to understand this mechanism and how it works for breast cancer, they hope to replicate this for other cancers.
The clinical application of research such as this is some way off, however this is another great example of why it’s so important to support research at places like the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
If you’d like to hear more about what they’re currently doing, take a look at the latest Breakthrough Newsletter and learn how you can support what they do.
CanDo is proud to be sponsored by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.