Joining FORCES is the FORCE newsletter with news, views and supportive information for individuals concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
by Sue Friedman
In 2012 one family transformed the landscape of BRCA1/2 research by establishing the Basser Research Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. "Because our family suffered traumatically from this disease, we wanted to ensure that no other family out there suffered in the way that we did," explained Mindy Gray. Mindy and Jon Gray endowed the Center in honor of her family, the Bassers, who lost Mindy's sister Faith at age 44 to BRCA related ovarian cancer.
FORCE is now collaborating with the Basser Research Center for BRCA to strengthen ties between people with BRCA mutations and University of Pennsylvania researchers and physicians who are devoted to finding ways to prevent and treat BRCA-related cancers. Together, we will drive research forward, develop educational resources, and hold quarterly support groups in the Philadelphia area. As part of our collaboration, the next Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer conference is scheduled for Spring 2014 in Philadelphia.
"The Basser Research Center is an example of how we go from the bench to the bedside, taking this knowledge about BRCA1 and BRCA2 and giving people information that they can act upon. But it's also a key example of what we call bedside to bench, when patients tell us about their concerns and what they need to know, and we go back and use our research in the lab or epidemiology research to answer some of those questions for patients," said Basser Executive Director Susan Domchek, MD.
The Center has established an annual grants program to fund research ranging from basic science studies to early detection, prevention, treatment, survivorship, communication and outreach. "Our clinical research all starts with our registry study," said Rebecca Mueller, Basser's outreach coordinator. "Through our registry, we track participants with BRCA mutations and can follow their outcomes and recontact them as new research questions arise and new research studies open. So far, our collaboration has recruited over 200 people into important BRCA-specific research. FORCE will periodically provide updates on these research findings and help recruit additional participants for open studies."
Contact the Center by phone: 215-662-2748 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. edu, or visit: pennmedicine.org/basser for more information about participating in Basser's research and to subscribe to the Center's newsletter.
Visit our collaboration page for more information.