Where your money goes

Supporting breast AND ovarian cancer research in 2024

Over the past 26 years, the Mother's Day Classic community has donated $44 million to fund life-saving breast cancer research.

Thanks to research, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer has increased from 84 per cent to 92 per cent since the Mother’s Day Classic started in 1998. There’s still more to be done to achieve the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer.

Tragically, treatment, early detection, and preventative medical research advances for ovarian cancer have been limited. Treatment options and targeted therapies have only marginally improved in 30 years and there is currently no readily available, non-invasive early detection test for ovarian cancer. The average five year survival rate is just 49 per cent.

This is why the Mother’s Day Classic has decided to go further in 2024 and invite our participants to run or walk in support of ovarian cancer research, in addition to breast cancer research.

Participants in the 2024 Mother's Day Classic event will be provided with the option of taking part in support of and fundraising for breast cancer research, ovarian cancer research or both – it’s up to you!

In 2024 we will partner with both the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to fund game changing research that is focussed on saving women’s lives.  We will continue to raise funds through community fundraising, online fundraising, donations, merchandise sales and registration fees.

Once event and administration costs have been deducted, proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) to fund life-changing research. Mother's Day Classic Foundation will continue to endeavour to keep costs low, so as much as possible can be donated.



National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation funding world-class breast cancer research towards their vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer.



The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) is Australia’s leading independent organisation dedicated to funding the most innovative ovarian cancer research.



Current Research Projects

Read about the current projects that funds raised by Mother's Day Classic participants around Australia have been used to support. And in 2024 we aim to go further contributing funds to both breast cancer and ovarian cancer reasearch to help save lives.

Dr Amy McCart Reed


New biomarkers to predict treatment response in patients with high-risk aggressive breast cancer

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Patients with aggressive breast cancers, including those with large tumours, high-grade triple negative or HER2 positive breast cancers are at high risk of treatment resistance and of the cancer returning after treatment, leading to poor survival outcomes. These patients often receive therapy before tumour removal (termed neoadjuvant therapy) aimed at reducing the size of the cancer prior to surgery. Currently, there are few biomarkers to predict which patients will respond to neoadjuvant therapy and those that will not, and response to neoadjuvant treatment is an indicator of patient outcome.

This project, led by Dr Amy McCart Reed (University of Queensland), will use cutting-edge genomic techniques to identify markers of treatment response or resistance. The study also aims to identify the most effective genomic technology, for personalised medicine, to profile individual tumours to match patients with the best therapy.

Prof Kum Kum Khanna


Repurposing an arthritis drug for the treatment of metastatic triple negative breast cancer

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The spread of breast cancer to the brain is a major cause of mortality for patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). In this study Prof Kum Kum Khanna (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute) will examine whether Auranofin, a drug proven to be safe for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and can cross the blood-brain barrier, can be repurposed for the treatment of metastatic TNBC. Auranofin will be tested in combination with other FDA approved anti-cancer drugs known to reach the brain to identify new combination therapies for the treatment for metastatic TNBC.

Dr Zhi Ling Teo


Using a state of the art tumour bank to investigate drug resistant breast cancer

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Metastasis is an incurable spread of cancer and is the main cause of cancer death. It is evident that metastatic cancers differ from the primary tumors from which they originate. Yet, much is unknown about how breast cancer spreads.

One of the main challenges in understanding cancer metastasis is a lack of access to tissue from people with advanced disease.

In this NBCF-funded study, Dr Zhi Ling Teo will use a unique tissue bank that has been established at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to trace the full lifecycle of aggressive HER2+ breast cancer. In particular, her study will focus on changes in the immune system over the course of the disease and how this affects outcomes. 

Overall, the study will provide new information on ways to anticipate, inhibit or suppress the evolution of drug resistance and metastasis in HER2+ breast cancer.

Dr Amy Dwyer


Reprogramming the estrogen receptor to improve breast cancer treatment

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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. Current treatment options aim to either block the estrogen receptors, or lower the levels of the estrogen hormone in the body, to starve 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.

Dr Camille Short


Improving heart health in breast cancer survivors using tele-rehabilitation

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Chemotherapy is well known to have off-target adverse events, such as cardio-toxicity, or damage to the heart. This can lead to cardiovascular disease later in life, which is now a leading cause of death among breast cancer survivors.

It is possible to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through specialised exercise rehabilitation. This is usually provided in supervised clinic-based programs, but these can be challenging to access for women due to time, travel and cost barriers. Home-based alternatives have not been as effective. 

Tele-rehabilitation could bridge the gap – enabling direct supervision by a clinical exercise specialist while the participant completes the therapy in their own environment. 

This approach has previously been shown to be effective for people with coronary heart disease, and this will be the first time it is used with women who have previously had breast cancer.


Where your money goes

Proceeds from the Mother’s Day Classic will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) to help to create a better tomorrow for those affected by breast and ovarian cancers.

When you sign up to the Mother’s Day Classic, you can choose where your money goes. Whether it’s the National Breast Cancer Foundation or the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation or both, your support will help save lives.