Fighting Metastatic Breast Cancer with Open Innovation

October 7, 2016 By IdeaConnection

750px-Woman_receives_mammogram_(3)Since its launch last October, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project has enrolled more than 2,500 patients.

The open innovation health initiative aims to accelerate breast cancer research by partnering researchers and their cutting-edge technology directly with patients.

According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, metastatic breast cancer is an understudied area with a lot of unanswered questions, such as: how does the tumor change?  Do the cells have a different molecular profile than the cancer that started in the breast? How do genetic mutations in cancer affect response to different therapies?

Helping Speed Up the Development of Future Therapies

To take part in the open innovation project, patients sign up online, send in saliva kits for genetic testing and allow the use of their medical records and stored tumor tissue samples.  Researchers keep patients up to date via social media, and from time to time invite them to the laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts where their specimens are analyzed.

Through the breast cancer initiative, scientists will be able to collect a lot of molecular and genetic data from a very broad selection of patients. With information from so many people with metastatic breast cancer, researchers may be better able to target treatments or come up with new ones.

The research data will be published on a special website and with the National Cancer Institute’s genomic data program.  In this way lots of scientists will be able to access the research, increasing the odds of finding new and advanced treatments for people with metastatic disease.

For more information about the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project, click here.


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