Breast cancer research gets $12m in grants | The Courier

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More than $12 million in grants for breast cancer research will help save lives and revolutionize screening and treatment in Australia, experts say. The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has announced funding of nearly $12.4 million for 20 research projects as part of a campaign to achieve “zero deaths from breast cancer” by 2030. “Over the last 28 years NBCF has made a significant improvement to Australia’s breast cancer outcomes through its grants program,” Associate Professor Cleola Anderiesz, CEO of NBCF said. “I’m proud to present 20 additional talented researchers and their collaborators with the support they need to work towards NBCF’s Mission of Zero Deaths from breast cancer by 2030.” Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia and affects both men and women, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This year alone, an estimated 20,000 people will be diagnosed and, each day, nine Australians die of the disease. Melbourne mother-of-two and breast cancer survivor, Sarah Singer, said organizations like NBCF, which relies on public donations, give her a sense of hope. “When I was first diagnosed nearly 20 years ago, the world just crashed,” she said. “You hear, ‘You have breast cancer’ and you’re 32 with a 16-month-old baby, I just couldn’t imagine that there was a future. “I have the BRCA gene and at this point, I don’ don’t know if my two daughters have it. The various research projects will help to make a better future for them if they themselves are in the same position I was in when I was 32.” Grant recipients include The University of Melbourne, UNSW Sydney and Garvan Institute of Medical Research, which will assess a novel epigenetic blood test for breast cancer detection and monitoring. Monash University professor Tony Tiganis said the funding will greatly assist with his research into harnessing immunotherapy for the treatment of breast cancer in obesity. “We’ve learned from Covid that if there are sufficient resources behind a problem from a scientific perspective, we can actually come up with some innovative solutions and we need to work towards that in breast cancer and fund the research to develop therapies,” Mr Tiganis said. “Two thirds of our population is overweight or obese and the majority of patients who present with triple negative breast cancer are overweight or obese. “We know that obesity is a marker of poor prognosis in breast cancer and can contribute to the development and potentially affect the therapy of different cancers.” Australian Associated Press

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