Event Date: Sunday 14 May 2017
8 months 12 days remaining
Since 1998, the Mother’s Day Classic has raised an incredible $33.2 million and funded more than 30 breast cancer research projects across Australia.
Research has made a real impact over the last 20 years with survival rates increasing. But, there is still more work to be done as eight women – our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends – are still losing their lives to breast cancer each day.
Every dollar raised at the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to fund life-changing breast cancer research. By funding research we can make a real difference to those diagnosed with breast cancer – now and in the future.
Find out about the research underway in your area.
Dr Liz Caldon, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Discovering the cause of therapy resistance in estrogen-fuelled breast cancer.
Dr Liz Caldon believes that the survival and quality of life would improve significantly if it was possible to predict from the first diagnosed cancer whether it is likely that someone's cancer will recur, and then treat any recurrence with drugs that are specifically toxic to hormone resistant breast cancer.
She is focusing on improving our understanding of hormone resistant breast cancer, specifically the molecular changes that occur as the cancer cells develop resistance, including which genes might be involved.
Ultimately, her research aims to eliminate the development of resistance to treatment and stop recurrence from ever happening, providing hope for women and men with hormone resistant breast cancer.
Simon Junankar, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Immunotherapy for metastatic breast cancer
Dr Simon Junankar and his team are seeking to understand the one of the fundamental questions in cancer – how cancer cells avoid detection by the body’s immune system. They believe this knowledge could provide an explanation for why immunotherapy for breast cancer is not yet successful.
The researchers will use a cutting-edge DNA barcoding technique that tracks individual cancer cells through the body to the organ in which they settle. They are looking to see if the cancer cell will create a metastatic tumour, how the cancer cells respond to immunotherapy, and specifically if they are resistant to immunotherapy.
Activating the patient’s own immune system early could ultimately prevent metastatic disease developing, dramatically reducing deaths from breast cancer.
Normand Pouliot, Olivia-Newton John Cancer Research Centre
Making triple negative breast cancer responsive to treatment
This research projects is focused on testing a new strategy for treating triple negative breast cancer. Unlike other subtypes of breast cancer, there are no therapies specifically tailored for triple negative. Chemotherapy is the only treatment option and it is not very effective once the cancer has spread.
Dr Normand Pouliot aims to see if standard treatments that are being successfully used for other types of breast cancer (such as tamoxifen) can be made to work against triple negative as well. He will test if blocking the two proteins found in triple negative with novel inhibitors, allows standard treatments to work and stop the growth of the cancer cells.
Associate Professor Marina Reeves, The University of Queensland
Can exercise and diet help women with metastatic breast cancer?
It’s widely believed that physical activity would help improve the quality of life and wellbeing of women with metastatic breast cancer. However, there have been few studies in this area and there are no guidelines for the best diet and activity that would take into account each woman’s situation and specific needs.
The aim of this pilot study is to determine the viability of an exercise and diet program for women with metastatic breast cancer, and to test whether the program improves women’s quality of life, wellbeing and physical health.
This will be the first trial to evaluate an exercise and dietary intervention in this population, and provide much-needed evidence-based knowledge to help improve the quality of life for these women.
Dr Jennifer Stone, University of Western Australia
Towards better breast screening for Australian women
Awarded the Mavis Robertson Fellowship in 2017
Unbeknownst to many women, the density of their breast tissue can impact on the ability of the mammogram to detect tumours. Dense breast tissue is coming to light as one of the strongest predictors of breast cancer risk – on par with carrying a mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Measuring breast density is on the cusp of becoming a useful health tool for women, however, more information is needed before it can be incorporated into public health programs.
This study will be the largest and most comprehensive investigation thus far of the impact of informing screening participants that they have dense breasts and will provide the basis for BreastScreen programs to report measures of breast density to participants in future.
Dr Stone will also investigate the prevalence of dense breast tissue in specific populations, including Aboriginal women (for whom no information currently exists) and younger women (an established risk factor), to help inform public health improvements for these women.
The Mavis Robertson Fellowship was established in 2011 and is awarded to Australia’s best and brightest female researcher who also demonstrates to be a leader in breast cancer research.
A pioneer of the superannuation movement, Mavis Robertson was a founder of the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic fun run/walk and a Trustee of NBCF for over 10 years.
The annual Mother’s Day Classic fun run/walk provides the single largest donation to NBCF, raising over $30 million for breast cancer research since 1998.
In 2017, the Fellowship was awarded to Dr Jennifer Stone from the University of Western Australia to support her research into understanding and measuring breast density to detect breast cancers that can be missed by a mammogram.
As part of the Fellowship, Dr Stone will receive up to $10,000 to help her further progress her academic and professional goals, leadership skills and networks..
Download a copy of NBCF Breast Cancer in Australia: The Facts (infographic)
For more information on National Breast Cancer Foundation research projects click here.