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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

September 20, 2017

WISDOM Study: Investigating a Personalized Approach to Breast Cancer Screening

by Laura Esserman, MD Breast cancer screening today: A groundbreaking breast cancer screening study is underway in California and you may be eligible to be a part of it.  It’s called the Wisdom Study.  The aim is to determine if we can make screening better by personalizing each woman’s mammogram schedule, compared to the current … + read more

September 19, 2017

Insurance Coverage for Clinical Trial Participation: Significant Barriers Remain

by Lisa Schlager It is estimated that less than 5% of adults with cancer enroll in clinical trials. About a fifth of adult cancer clinical trials fail to recruit enough participants to complete the research.[1] These two facts hinder the development of better, safer methods to treat and prevent cancer. To help improve this situation, … + read more

August 17, 2017

Working with Industry to Increase Patient Engagement in Drug Development

by Lisa Schlager Historically, the only role for patients in cancer research was as a subject enrolled in a clinical trial. Research generally focused exclusively on outcomes such as overall survival and neglected to account for variables such as side effects and quality of life. Engaging patients as advisors in research—reviewing study design, informed consent … + 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

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