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This blog will cover topics of interest that affect our community. Unless otherwise stated, the blog articles will be written by Sue Friedman, Executive Director of FORCE.

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Research

April 23, 2017

Reflections on the March for Science

by Piri Welcsh, PhD Scientists rarely, if ever, come together across disciplines to achieve a common goal. That is unfortunate, as I believe most scientists share a common passion, and deep down, we know we can accomplish so much more collaboratively. I think that most would agree that what motivates us to conduct scientific research … + read more

April 10, 2017

Introducing Myself to the FORCE Community

by Piri Welcsh, PhD I am honored to begin a new phase of my career as FORCE’s Vice President of Education. I’d like to introduce myself by telling you a bit of a long story. I will tell this over time in several parts. The story is that of the “The Race” to Clone BRCA1. … + read more

March 28, 2017

SOLO3: A Clinical Trial Comparing the PARP Inhibitor, Olaparib to Standard Chemotherapy for Platinum-Sensitive Relapsed Ovarian Cancer

by Jordan Dietrich  SOLO3 SOLO3 is an exciting phase III ovarian cancer clinical trial that studies the effectiveness and safety of the PARP inhibitor Olaparib (Lynparza) compared to single-agent standard chemotherapy in women with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer with germline BRCA1/2 mutations. The trial is designed to confirm the benefit of Olaparib in this subset of … + read more

January 31, 2017

MEDIOLA: A Clinical Trial Combining a PARP Inhibitor with an Immunotherapy Drug

By Ding Wang, MD and Catherine Jenovai Immune system and cancer Every day our bodies are exposed to various injuries that may damage our cells. The damaged cells with certain types of genetic defects are tagged as abnormal and removed by our immune system. If something goes wrong and the cells are not removed by … + read more

November 14, 2016

Voices of FORCE: A BRCA Mutation is a Factor in Pancreatic Cancer

By Rona Greenberg Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is part of my family history. My grandmother, Rebecca, for whom I am named, died from breast/ovarian cancer in1934; my mother was ten years old. My mother died from the same cancer in 1967; I was nineteen years old with three younger sisters. In 1997, I was … + read more

September 30, 2016

HBOC Week Special: Inherited Mutations in BRCA1/2 and Related Genes More Common Than Expected in Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer

Guest blog by Heather H. Cheng, MD, PhD Researchers have long been aware that prostate cancer carries a substantial familial risk. New data (Robinson, et al Cell 2015) from the Stand Up To Cancer-Prostate Cancer Foundation International Dream Team collaborative group examined the genetic sequence of 150 tumors from men with advanced, hormone-resistant, metastatic prostate … + read more

July 28, 2016

Metastatic Hereditary Breast Cancer Treatment Research: BROCADE 3 Study

By Heather Han, MD and Sue Friedman Metastatic Hereditary Breast Cancer Research There are major gaps in research, resources, and support for people with metastatic breast cancer – cancer that has spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes. A promising area of research is focusing on new treatments for hereditary metastatic breast cancer caused by … + read more

May 19, 2016

Updates in Research on Treating Hereditary Cancers

Note: This post which was originally published 08/4/15 was just updated on 05/19/16. In December 2014, the FDA approved the first targeted therapy for people with BRCA mutations. Lynparza, a type of medication known as a PARP inhibitor, was approved for women with a BRCA mutation to treat advanced ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer that has progressed after … + read more

May 10, 2016

Experience with Oncology Clinical Trial Participation and Impact on Future Trial Design and Conduct

Note: Last year, TESARO, a pharmaceutical company developing a new PARP inhibitor for treatment of ovarian cancer and metastatic breast cancer, asked FORCE to help recruit previous clinical trial participants to join focus groups across the U.S. TESARO wanted to understand the patient experience to build clinical trials that are more responsive to patient needs. We … + read more

March 30, 2016

Update on Pancreatic Cancer Genetics Research

By Talia Golan, MD and Sue Friedman, DVM BRCA and pancreatic cancer The link between breast and ovarian cancer and BRCA mutations has been known since the 1990s. However, the awareness that these mutations also increase pancreatic cancer risk is more recent. If all patients with pancreatic cancer were tested for a BRCA1 or BRCA2 … + read more

March 3, 2016

OlympiA: A Landmark Breast Cancer PARP Inhibitor Clinical Trial

by Sue Friedman Great progress has been made since the identification of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and their link to causing breast, ovarian, pancreatic and other cancers. Over the last two decades, researchers have studied how BRCA mutations cause cancer in an effort to develop new treatments. In December 2014, Lynparza, (olaparib), a type … + read more

September 27, 2015

Beyond Awareness: Working to Improve Outcomes for People Facing Hereditary Cancer

This week we mark National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week, and on Wednesday, National Previvor Day. This awareness campaign acknowledges the over one million people and families in the United States affected by hereditary cancer, due to a BRCA, PALB2, PTEN, ATM or other mutation linked to these cancers or a strong family history … + read more

August 9, 2015

Guest Blog: Attending ASCO as a Research Advocate

By Robin Karlin Thirty thousand health professionals, fabulous views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, miles of escalators, fountains and crowded atriums, long lines at every Starbucks, session after session of the latest research and educational panels, and a fun evening at Shedd Aquarium. These were all part of my 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology … + read more

April 13, 2015

Another Reason for People to Know Their BRCA Status

By sharing her BRCA status and news of her prophylactic surgeries with the world, Angelina Jolie Pitt has raised awareness about BRCA testing and hereditary cancer to new heights. Her op-eds have created the “the Angelina Effect,” a term describing how her celebrity has increased demand for these services. Still, many people who meet national … + read more

March 31, 2015

Angelina Jolie and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Kudos to Angelina Jolie Pitt for sharing her BRCA status and news of her prophylactic surgeries with the world, soon after her risk-reducing mastectomy two years ago and again last week when she wrote about her bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Her two op-eds brought an unprecedented level of awareness about hereditary cancer, making words like “mutation” and … + read more

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