Joining FORCES is the FORCE newsletter with news, views and supportive information for individuals concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
by Sue Friedman
Much progress has been made in cancer research in the 15 years since I learned about my mutation and founded FORCE. Most exciting are advances in "personalized medicine" that focus on the unique traits of a subset of the general population, such as people with HBOC. HBOC cancers behave differently than other cancers: they are younger-onset, more aggressive, bestow greater lifetime risk for diagnosis and multiple cancers, and HBOC risk can be passed to our children. The biology that makes HBOC cancers different also offers researchers an opportunity to develop strategies to better prevent or treat hereditary cancers.
After years of advocacy, HBOC research is getting well-deserved attention, with studies moving towards personalized medicine as the best ways to prevent, detect, and treat hereditary cancers and improve quality of life. PARP inhibitors, new drugs designed to target cancers caused by BRCA mutations, are a significant example. These drugs will not be widely available until these studies are completed, yet open clinical trials of PARP inhibitors desperately need participants. Our community understands that research is the key to better options, and is willing to participate in the research to benefit them and future generations. So what is delaying progress? Here are some of the barriers we have identified.
Visit the FORCE website and follow our blog to learn more about how you can help advance HBOC research.