Where your money goes
Over the past 24 years, the Mother's Day Classic community has raised nearly $40 million for life-saving breast cancer research.
Since 1994, the 5-year survival rate has increased from 76% to 91.5% - statistical proof that research is making a difference. BUT there is still a long way to go before women stop losing their lives to breast cancer.
The Mother’s Day Classic raises funds through community fundraising, online fundraising, donations, and registration fees. Once event and administration costs have been deducted, proceeds are donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to fund life-changing research. MDCF endeavours to keep costs low, so as much as possible can be donated.
National Breast Cancer Foundation
The Mother’s Day Classic Foundation is proud, over the last 23 years, to be the largest single donor to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). NBCF is Australia’s leading national body funding game-changing breast cancer research. Their mission is simple, to stop deaths from breast cancer. NBCF is committed to identifying, funding and championing world-class research - research that will help to detect tumours earlier, improve treatment outcomes, and ultimately save lives. NBCF has raised over $181 million to fund 557 world-class breast cancer research projects in Australia, all thanks to generous community fundraisers.
Current research projects
Dr Sharissa Latham - 2022 Mavis Robertson Fellow
Garvan Institute of Medical Research Institute, New South Wales
New Treatment for Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Dr Sharissa Latham, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research who will lead this project, was also awarded the NBCF Mavis Robertson Fellowship for showing great promise as a future leader in breast cancer research. Her team has identified a drug that can inhibit a cellular pathway called oncogenic JNK. This signaling pathway is not found in normal healthy tissue, but is highly activated in TNBC tumours and is vital for the growth of metastatic TNBC cancer cells. By inhibiting oncogenic JNK signalling with the new drug, known as K12, the researchers believe they will be able to slow the growth of metastatic cells.
This project will help Dr Latham and her team take K12 through the next stage of preclinical drug development and evaluation, which is crucial prior to further clinical testing and commercialisation. The team have already synthesised a comprehensive library of K12-derivative drugs to trial in the study and are hopeful this will lead in time to a clinically-viable drug to treat metastatic TNBC, providing a new treatment option for this breast cancer subtype.
Dr Amy Dwyer - 2022 NBCF Fellow
University of Adelaide, South Australia
Reprogramming the Estrogen Receptor to Eradicate Endocrine-resistant Breast Cancer
Estrogen receptor positive breast cancer is the most common cause of breast cancer, affecting up to 80% of female and 90% of male breast cancer patients. In ER+ tumours, the hormone estrogen fuels the growth of the cancer. As such, current treatment options aim to either block the estrogen receptors, or lower the levels of the estrogen hormone in the body. This, in effect, starves the tumour of its fuel. However, this treatment also leads to estrogen deprivation in the rest of the body, which can lead to side effects.
This study, led by Dr Amy Dwyer from the University of Adelaide, will trial a completely new treatment strategy. Instead of eliminating estrogen receptor activity, the team will test therapies that reprogram the estrogen receptor to prevent the growth of tumours but retains activities needed by the body.
The project will trial drugs that are already on the market, which have been shown to modulate estrogen receptor activity. There will likely be additional benefits to these new treatments, including promotion of bone and muscle health, increased libido and prevention of hot flushes. The hope is that this new approach may be able to treat women with breast cancer, without making them feel miserable in the process.
Professor Sarah Lewis
University of Sydney, New South Wales
Effective Artificial Intelligence in Breast Cancer Screening
BreastScreen Australia (BSA), the population-based mammography screening program for early detection of breast cancer, currently screens more than 1.8 million women in each two-year cycle. For each woman screened at BSA, two qualified radiologists will independently review the images, with consensus via a third arbitrator radiologist. This double-reading strategy puts significant strain on existing human resources and can lead to higher false positive results, impacting upon consumer anxiety. Some international screening programs employ single reading but with the trade-off of reduced sensitivity (ability to correctly identify patients with breast cancer).
A few recent AI tools have achieved levels of accuracy comparable to experienced human radiologists in detecting breast cancer. This has led to a growing interest to use AI in screening practices, including as a potential replacement for the second reader or as an ‘early screener’, to help solve problems associated with radiologist workforce shortages and capitalise on the large data sets that screening mammography creates.
However, there are still questions to be answered before AI can be fully integrated into breast screening practices. For example, it is not known how radiologists and AI can interact and operate in a complementary way to produce the best screening outcomes for early detection of breast cancer or if AI might have a de-skilling effect. Therefore, it is essential to determine how to optimally integrate AI in routine screening practices in partnership with the radiology community.
To address this knowledge gap, Professor Sarah Lewis from the University of Sydney, will lead a study to investigate whether AI could be best used as a second reader to radiologists, as a tool for pre-screening before a radiologist’s viewing, or as a tool to help prioritise suspicious cases. Overall, this study will help answer hard questions about how AI can be best deployed in breast screening programs towards achieving optimal screening outcomes for Australian women.
Creating a better tomorrow
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia with 1 in 7 women diagnosed in their lifetime. Incidence of breast cancer in Men is also on the rise with 1 in 700 men diagnosed in their lifetime. We all know someone who has been affected in one way or another.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) aim to stop deaths from breast cancer by identifying, funding and championing research that will save lives. Every dollar you raise for the Mother’s Day Classic will be donated to NBCF to help to create a better tomorrow for those affected by breast cancer.
Every dollar makes an impact
This year, it is expected that 9 Australians will die from breast cancer each day. We all know someone who has been affected in one way or another and that’s why we are committed to raising funds for life-saving research. Every dollar makes an impact, provides hope to those diagnosed with breast cancer and a better future for generations to come.