At the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, we are uniting teams of experts from related, yet diverse, disciplines to infuse new knowledge and perspectives into cancer care and move our basic, clinical, and translational science efforts forward. Our team of physician-scientists and breast health professionals are providing tremendous hope to patients and their families. We are bringing the best minds from a range of disciplines to collaborate on these breakthrough studies.
Our scientists are applying what they learn in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, and immunology to develop more effective and less toxic treatments for breast cancer. Ultimately, we hope to personalize breast cancer therapy to help achieve the best outcomes for patients.
Breast cancer screening and detection is a key research focus. Through our work with Northwestern Memorial's Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center, we are participating in the National Cancer Institute's four-year study that compares the use of mammography, ultrasound, and MRI as breast cancer screening tools.
One recent scientific discovery at Northwestern University is the identification of a specific protein called alpha B-crystallin. This protein is associated with poorer survival in breast cancer patients and may prove invaluable for diagnosing a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, paving the way for improved treatments.
We are engaged in a study of nipple fluid that identifies different markers that may increase risk for breast cancer. We will be starting the first study to examine the possibility of delivering drug therapy through the skin of the breast rather than as a pill, to avoid side effects. In another study, needle biopsies are performed to determine if any changes in the breast environment have occurred that would allow cancer to grow.
Our physician-scientists also contributed to the development of Abraxane, the first ever chemotherapy drug that uses nanotechnology to fight metastatic breast cancer. And an ongoing study is testing the effectiveness of a promising new drug (lapatinib) in the treatment of a specific type of breast cancer. In addition, our breast and plastic surgeons are developing new techniques to minimize the impact of surgery for a better cosmetic outcome for patients.
As we continue to strengthen and maximize the excellence of our Breast Cancer Program, we invite the interest and participation of philanthropic partners who can help us accelerate our current research and training and broaden the program's scope. Specially, we are seeking private support.
Assistant Dean for Development
Feinberg School of Medicine
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Complete Breast Cancer Program Vision