Translational breast cancer research – translated to the public

The inaugural Community Breast Cancer Research Update is an important interface between the community and breast cancer researchers.

Mr Terry Little, A/Prof Elgene Lim, A/Prof Alex Swarbrick, Dr Lisa Carey, Prof Sarah Hoskings, Lee Hunt, Prof Allan Spigelman, Tennille Fankhauser

Media Release: 14 February 2017

The inaugural Community Breast Cancer Research Update is an important interface between the community and breast cancer researchers. Held as part of the 2017 Australian Translational Breast Cancer Research Symposium on February 14, the 2-hour session aims to make the latest advances in breast cancer research and medicine accessible to the public, giving attendees a rare opportunity to hear and interact with leading local and international breast cancer researchers.

Hosted by the Garvan Research Foundation and sponsored by Estée Lauder Companies as part of its global Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, the Update will explore personalised medicine and the translation of breast cancer research from “bench to bedside” from an international and local perspective.

Mr Terry Little, Managing Director of Estée Lauder Companies in Australia said, “We’re delighted to be supporting not only breast cancer research at the Garvan Institute, but also the communication and translation of recent breast cancer research developments to the public.

“We’re very proud to have a strong historical and global commitment to breast cancer. In 1992 the late Mrs. Evelyn H. Lauder founded Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and in doing so launched the Pink Ribbon, now the universal symbol for breast health. The organisation has not only been instrumental in raising awareness of the cause but has also contributed $65 million to breast cancer research globally,” said Mr Little.

The founders of the Australian Translational Breast Cancer Research Symposium, Garvan’s Associate Professors Alex Swarbrick and Elgene Lim, said the Community Update was created in response to the community’s interest in the 2016 Translational Breast Cancer Research Symposium.

“The 2016 Symposium received considerable interest from the community – from patients, their families and individuals with an interest in breast cancer research and medicine. In 2017 we wanted to create an opportunity to make this information accessible to the public in a suitable format,” said A/Prof Swarbrick. “This year the Community Update has been planned specifically with patients, their families and the broader community in mind.”

Oncologist and researcher Associate Professor Lim added, “Many of my patients are keen to understand more about the research that underpins their treatment, now and down the track. Knowledge is powerful, and by giving the community an insight into the advances in breast cancer research at the Garvan Institute and globally, we will also bring hope for the future.” 

A/Profs Swarbrick and Lim collaborate extensively. Their research focuses on collecting cancer tissue samples from breast cancer patients, whom they regard as vital partners in their research, to form a ‘living tumour bank’. They aim to find better ways to treat breast cancers, and to make a positive impact on patients and their families.

The Community Breast Cancer Research Update program will feature:

  • A keynote address from Dr Lisa Carey, University of North Carolina, called ‘Personalised medicine in breast cancer: insights from key research breakthroughs’;
  • Updates from Associate Professors Swarbrick and Lim, about breast cancer discoveries and clinical research at the Garvan Institute; and
  • An open Q&A style discussion with leading breast cancer researchers, clinicians, clinicians and representatives from breast cancer organisations (advocacy and research).  

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