WXXI AM News

Breast Cancer Coalition hands out research grants

Apr 5, 2017

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is announcing two grants for researchers in western New York who are working on eradicating this disease.

Their studies, however, are somewhat outside of the mainstream.

But that's something Executive Director Holly Anderson says the Coalition supports.

Credit bccr.org/

"We value the innovative, the ones that have high risk, and high reward.  Where high risk is a tough proposal to sell to larger researchers," she said.

A grant of $50,000 will go to Dr. Elizabeth Repasky at Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Department of Immunology.

She'll study chronic stress in the promotion of tumor progression in breast cancer.

Research grant recipients Dr. Michael Lukey and Dr. Elizabeth Repasky
Credit Alex Crichton

She says her research shows that keeping the body temperature steady uses a lot of energy, and is a stress on the body. And 30 percent of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer do develop a symptom of feeling cold that they did not experience before they had cancer.

"It's beyond anecdote that there is a group of women who will feel much colder.  So our research now is to understand whether or not this is good or bad, or has no effect on overall prognosis," she said.

Another $25,000 grant will go to  Dr. Michael Lukey at Cornell to identify the impact of specific enzymes in the improvement of triple negative outcomes in breast cancer. 

That's when the three most common receptors known to fuel breast cancer growth are not found in the tumor.

Research Administrator at the Breast Cancer Coalition, Dominique Boller, says breast cancer research supports and informs those researchers who are just on the cusp of discovering a cure. 

She says research has the power to save lives.