FORCE Blog

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

May 21, 2020

Clinical Trials are Essential for Improving Healthcare

by Kelly Owens, PhD, FORCE’s Director of Research and Education Clinical trials are an essential process for making progress in health care treatment. This essential research produces new and better methods of preventing, detecting and treating disease. Clinical trials are a type of research that tests whether a new procedure or drug works in the … + read more

May 20, 2020

Clinical Trials Helped Save My Life

by Susan Feinberg People are often surprised when I say I feel lucky. About one in 500 Americans inherit a BRCA gene mutation, which greatly increases a person’s chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer – and I’m one of them. I made the discovery shortly after turning 50, when I was diagnosed with breast … + read more

May 2, 2019

Improving Memory in Menopause: the IMPRES Study

By Joanna Marks Ask any woman who has undergone a risk-reducing salpingo oophorectomy (RRSO) about recovery and you will hear about both the physical and emotional challenges of this process. If ovaries are removed prior to a woman’s natural menopause transition, she will likely enter premature menopause. For many women, cognitive complaints (like difficulty concentrating … + read more

October 29, 2018

PARP Inhibitors Take Center Stage

by Piri Welcsh, PhD “PARP inhibitor therapy, I think it’s fair to say, very likely would not be part of our armamentarium now had it not been for FORCE.” These were the words of Mary-Claire King, PhD as she accepted her 2018 FORCE Spirit of Empowerment award.  “Armamentarium,” I confess, was a word I had … + read more

February 7, 2018

Why I Chose Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

by David Dessert I was diagnosed with stage 3 unresectable pancreatic cancer at age 48 after 5 months of ever-increasing back and abdominal pains. After a non-standard treatment with Gemzar/Cisplatin chemotherapy (because of my BRCA2 mutations), followed by chemoradiation, and 12 months later the removal of my pancreatic tumor, my surgeon told me that I … + read more

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

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

March 22, 2013

Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

Recently a dear friend sent me a link to an article in the February 1996 issue of Nature Medicine. The article by journalist Adam Marcus covered a media event and panel of women’s rights advocates expressing concern about Myriad’s impending patenting of the BRCA1 gene. Panelists declared unregulated genetic testing to be the coming century’s … + read more

February 24, 2013

Hopeful Progress in Ovarian Cancer Prevention Research

In 2008 FORCE conducted a survey to learn about research priorities for the HBOC community. We learned that women want better methods for ovarian cancer detection and prevention for ourselves, our children, and future generations. For this reason, we have worked closely with researchers exploring new options and we have carefully followed and shared with … + read more

February 11, 2013

Progress in Hereditary Cancer Treatment Research

Recently I participated in the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) semi-annual meeting in San Diego. The GOG is part of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, whose role is to promote and support clinical trials for cancers. As one of the members of the Patient Advocacy Committee of GOG I participate by providing the consumer perspective and … + read more

December 12, 2012

Clinical Trials for Hereditary Cancer: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

This blog is a call to action! Please read on, and then post, blog, tweet, retweet, and share about this issue so that we can assure that hereditary cancer research continues! The call for more research is a constant theme for all diseases including cancer, and sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated by the slow pace … + read more

September 23, 2012

HBOC Week 2012: A Call to Arms

As we begin HBOC Week and approach Previvor Day 2012, I am again reminded of how far we have come and how far we still have to go in the fight against hereditary cancer.  The growth of our organization, message boards, mailing lists, and Facebook and Twitter pages tells the story: more people than ever … + read more

September 6, 2012

13 Developments That Have Helped the HBOC Community

September marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. And September 23-30 we will celebrate National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week! Follow us on twitter, Facebook, and our website to see what we are doing to celebrate and to share your celebration ideas with us! In honor of this time of year and in keeping with our … + read more

Connect with others.

Call our Helpline

Our helpline offers peer support for people concerned about hereditary cancer. All calls are confidential. Call any time.

Join a Local Group

FORCE has outreach groups throughout the United States and in Essex, United Kingdom that meet periodically to offer peer support, and share resources.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered