October is breast cancer awareness month, an international campaign focused on raising awareness of the disease and fundraising for breast cancer research. The importance of early detection and awareness is paramount, as the American Cancer Society affirms that between the late 1980s and 2014, these factors—along with better treatments—led to a drop of 38 percent in women’s probability of dying from breast cancer, meaning that 297,300 fewer breast cancer deaths happened during that period.
a Human Touch
The Perfect Balance
Peter P. Lee, M.D., the Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Professor in Cancer Immunotherapeutics at City of Hope, has for two decades been interested in treating cancer by stimulating or enhancing a person’s own immune system. This approach, called immunotherapy, has gained much attention in recent years and Lee is a leader in the field. His outlook for 2017 is full of promise for a more personalized approach to breast cancer treatment.
“It’s very exciting that we’ve seen a dramatic response for immunology in patients with cancers like melanoma, lymphoma, bladder cancer and others,” said Lee, who is chair of the Department of Immuno-Oncology, co-leader of the Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program and a professor in the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. “But breast cancer has lagged behind a bit and so we’re trying to understand why it’s different and how to make immunotherapy more effective for breast cancer patients.”
Fortunately, he said, there have been advances in understanding the relationship between the immune system and breast cancer and the difference between subtypes and their response to immunotherapy.
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an international health campaign dedicated to increasing the awareness of the disease and fundraising for breast cancer research. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries in an effort to advocate mammography as the most effective course of action when fighting breast cancer. Continue reading →