Funds Will Support Innovative Research Project Led by Donald McDonnell, Ph.D.
Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced it raised more than $200,000 during a week-long campaign to support people living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). The October 12-16 campaign was part of Komen’s overall National Breast Cancer Awareness Month efforts and encouraged people to take action against MBC by donating to research.
The money raised through online donations that week is being granted to leading researcher and Komen Scholar, Donald McDonnell, Ph.D. For the past 25 years, Dr. McDonnell’s research has focused on developing therapies for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer which makes up ~70-80% of all diagnosed breast cancers. He is working to develop new drugs for patients with endocrine therapy-resistant ER-positive breast cancer– drugs that stop tumor growth and metastasis.
“Many patients living with MBC need more treatment options and the path to more treatment options is through research. The promise of research is what gives us hope,” said Victoria Wolodzko, senior vice president of Mission at Susan G. Komen. “Research projects like Donald McDonnell’s are absolutely critical to Komen’s mission to save lives from breast cancer. We are thrilled to fund such an incredible scientist and we are grateful for every donation received so that we can fund more MBC research.”
McDonnell is also the recipient of the 2020 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science Susan G. Komen’s highest scientific honor. He is the Glaxo‐Wellcome Distinguished Professor of Molecular Cancer Biology, in the school of medicine; and a professor of medicine at Duke University.
“Komen has done just a remarkable job in funding research and in bringing patient advocacy and research together,“ said Dr. McDonnell. “The primary goal of my research is to develop new drugs to treat metastatic breast cancer. For the women who die every year from breast cancer, they’re dying from metastatic disease. As a person who has been involved in drug discovery for my entire life, the ultimate goal of my research is to help take the word treatment out of our vocabulary and replace it with cure.”
MBC, also known as stage IV breast cancer, is the most advanced stage of the disease that occurs when it has spread to other parts of the body – most often the bones, brain, liver and lungs. It is currently incurable and will be responsible for most of the 42,000 breast cancer deaths in the U.S. this year. MBC treatment focuses on controlling the disease to prevent its spread and improving the quality of life for the estimated 168,000 women in the U.S. living with it today. Research and clinical trials are focused on providing additional and more effective treatments so people can live longer, fuller lives.
In addition to supporting MBC patients through research, Komen advocates for the rights of patients by calling on lawmakers to pass important legislation that can immediately make a difference in the lives of people living with metastatic disease. Komen also supports MBC patients through patient navigation, Komen’s Breast Care Helpline (1-877 GO-KOMEN) which provides callers with information and emotional support from trained professionals, and the Treatment Assistance Program which helps ease the financial burden of treatment and related costs.
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. We advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at www.komen.org/social.