Breast cancer is a very devastating disease, and although we think we know much about this disease, there’s still so much we don’t know. Too many women lose their lives to breast cancer each year.
This initiative is a brand new approach. We want to reinvent a term called personalized medicine.
That means we don’t want to just treat the disease. We want to take every patient that is diagnosed with breast cancer and learn what is embedded within their disease, so we can better treat the next woman diagnosed with breast cancer.
This is extremely important because not every person responds to the types of treatments that are administered right now. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, there are many options of treatment. How those treatments may work in an individual woman is still very poorly understood. We do have some knowledge of why some women are susceptible, but not enough.
So many advances have been made in understanding genetics, but 90 percent of the 3.2 billion base pairs that make a human being function and work – and also susceptible to disease – is still uncharted territory for us.
By looking at that code, we should be able to predict whether someone is susceptible to breast cancer. More importantly, as we accelerate our understanding, we will be able to say, they’re going to get this type of breast cancer, and we will need to switch to this other kind of treatment because we’ve seen it worked in other patients with this type of cancer.
Research is a team sport. You need to bring in individuals who have different skill sets that complement each other.
We will build the team. We will bring in the geneticists. We will bring in the computer techs who can basically create a print out of susceptibility and treatment that our physicians – who are really very important to this as well – can apply into the treatments for the patients.
It will take a phenomenal amount of resources for us to completely break that code. The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation is making it possible for us, as researchers, to help bring an end to breast cancer. It’s a great concept: 100 percent of funds raised go towards the research.
I lost a sister to breast cancer. No woman should have to go through what my sister went through.
The Edith Sanford initiative is driven partly by my personal connection, and the personal connection many others within the team have as well. We’ve seen how devastating this disease is, and we don’t want to see it happen to anyone else again.
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