Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women with 20,000 new cases diagnosed in Australia each year. It is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths in women with over 3,100 deaths per year.
October is Breast cancer awareness month, where we look to highlight breast awareness, testing, care and treatment of course research. The Institute wants to shine a light on research and the important patient samples that facilitate it.
Patient samples are essential to the Breast cancer research program at the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute in assisting to better understanding breast cancer the how best to treat it. Lake Imaging is a long-term corporate supporter to FECRI and a key contributor the sample collection process, using state of the art technology imaging at Lake Imaging – St John of God Hospital.
Breast tissue samples are collected in biopsies, guided by ultrasound at both diagnosis and in treatment. These samples can be only collected from patients have already given consent to donate to research. The process is not an additional procedure and is done using samples collected for pathology. Samples are then stored in liquid nitrogen in the FECRI’s tissue bank to be used later.
The FECRI project commenced in March of this year was made possible after seed funding from a private philanthropic donation in late 2019 and this February’s Ballarat Cycle Classic that raised a record $300,000 for the project. The research group has since published world first work first describing the behaviour and function of a pregnancy associated plasma protein (PAPPA), that is highly found in aggressive triple-negative breast cancers. This research has provided evidence that could lead to a potential therapeutic target for the subset of breast cancers with elevated levels of the plasma protein that will improve treatment outcomes for these patients.
Professor George Kannourakis from the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute said “Our research program is possible, because of our tissue bank of nearly 4500 patient samples. Our Breast cancer project needs patient samples to continue to develop its work”
“With the support of community minded and forward-thinking businesses like Lake Imaging give important support to the Institute to develop world first research into all cancers including Breast cancer. We look forward to working with Lake Imaging to continue to undertake cutting edge research into cancer treatment development.”
Established in Ballarat in 2002 as a single radiology practice, Lake Imaging now has 19 clinics throughout Central and Western Victoria, providing medical imaging to the people within these communities. As part of Lake’s charitable fundraising program, they are proud to be aligned with FECRI to combine forces in the fight against cancer. By providing quality medical imaging for cancer research, Lake Imaging together with FECRI are making a difference in the lives of patients affected by cancer.
This month presents us with an opportunity to focus on the importance of being ‘breast aware’ and understanding the risk factors. To help detect this disease as early as possible, Lake Imaging offers a range of expert breast screening and diagnostic services such as mammogram, ultrasound, CT and MRI techniques.
If you have an upcoming medical procedure or are receiving cancer treatment and would like to donate tissue or blood samples to our research program, speak to your Doctor or call the Institute on (03) 53313101 for more information.