Ovarian & Breast Cancer Molecular Research

Ovarian & Breast Cancer Molecular Research

Not much is known about why normal cells in a body suddenly become malignant and lose their regulatory control.  That’s what cancer is — uncontrolled cellular growth.

When cancerous cells are detected, traditional treatments may include surgery (the removal of cancerous tissue), chemotherapy, which is designed to kill as many of the cancerous cells as possible, and the use of drug inhibitors, which prevent the growth of new blood vessels but do not prevent the growth of tumors.

A newer approach that holds great promise in the battle against both ovarian and breast cancer involves focusing on these uncontrolled cells — How did they get so strong?  How did they survive the other various treatments?  Did they develop some kind of resistance to certain drug agents?  New research is now underway that is attempting to find the answers to these and many other questions and, hopefully, develop the right biologic agents to restore regulatory control to these cells.

The Julie W. Schaffner Ovarian Cancer Fund is supporting an effort to establish an Ovarian & Breast Cancer Molecular Research Center (laboratory) at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill that will focus specially on this type of research.  While this is a long-term project that will evolve in several different phases, the first phase will establish a laboratory at the hospital and provide funding for research fellowships for approximately 10 years. 

While there will be many other sources of funding in addition to contributions from the JWS Fund, it is estimated that the initial phase will require approximately $3 million in start-up funds.

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