• Susan G. Komen Invests $375,000 In Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Project

    Funds Will Focus on Advancing Understanding of Metastatic Disease in Young Women as Part of Direct-to-Patient Research Study

     — Susan G. Komen today announced a $375,000 commitment toward the innovative work of the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Project, which empowers patients to accelerate research and advance our understanding of metastatic breast cancer. Funds from Komen will be used to analyze samples from young women with metastatic breast cancer who have joined the MBC Project – helping to identify molecular and genetic features unique to younger patients with breast cancer.

    Led by Dr. Nikhil Wagle and colleagues at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the MBC Project directly engages patients with metastatic breast cancer using social media and partnerships with advocacy organizations and empowers them to share their medical records and saliva and tumor samples to help expedite important discoveries. Since the project’s launch in October of 2015, more than 2500 women and men with MBC, including from all 50 states and Canada, have enrolled in the study.

    “We are excited to support Dr. Wagle’s work on this innovative project. This study will not only help improve our understanding of the disparities that exist for younger breast cancer patients, but also inform the development of new treatment strategies for metastatic breast cancer in this population,” said Komen President and CEO Dr. Judy Salerno.

    “This is an outstanding example of the important research being conducted by early-career investigators, and the power of investing in the next generation of breast cancer researchers,” Dr. Salerno added.

    In addition to supporting the MBC Project, Komen funding has helped catalyze Dr. Wagle’s promising career in breast cancer research. Last fall, Komen awarded $450,000 to Dr. Wagle to utilize molecular and genomic studies to improve understanding of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer that has become resistant to treatment.

    “We are incredibly grateful to have received this support from Susan G. Komen,” Wagle said. “This grant will help us study the young women and men who have joined the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project, a group of patients who often present with more advanced and aggressive tumors. We are proud to have joined with these and many other metastatic breast cancer patients, advocates, and advocacy organizations to launch this patient-driven research project – and look forward to making strides in improving treatments for patients with metastatic breast cancer in partnership with the patient community.”

    A collaborative effort across the breast cancer community, organizers at the Broad Institute and Dana Farber turned to advocacy organizations and patients to help design the MBC Project itself, working closely with a number of partner organizations.