WEST CHESTER, Pa., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- QVC and the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY), building on a 19 year philanthropic relationship supporting breast cancer research, have announced a $140,000 grant to fund research at The Wistar Institute on a specific and deadly form of breast cancer called triple negative.
"The mission of the QVC-FFANY relationship is to support the most promising research with the potential to end breast cancer," said Mike George, president and CEO of QVC. "We are proud to support The Wistar Institute's work as it holds great promise for developing new treatments for breast cancer and saving women's lives." QVC addresses critical health issues for women by working with organizations, like FFANY, to invest in life-saving research.
Close to 300, 000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Of these, nearly one in four breast cancer cases is classified as triple negative. Triple negative patients have a higher rate of relapse following treatment than other breast cancer patients, and therefore, have lower overall survival rates.
Triple negative patients have tumors that are missing three proteins found in normal cells. These proteins are critical to deciphering chemical signals, like those from hormones. The laboratory of Dario Altieri, M.D., Director of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center, set out to discover how triple negative breast cancers survive without these important proteins and, in doing so, they found a common factor. Since cells require these signals in order to grow and divide, triple negative breast cancer cells survive by using a gene that is normally "switched off" in adults: Notch-1. While the road to creating therapies is a long one, Altieri is committed to advancing research of Notch- 1 with the ultimate goal of developing new treatments for triple negative breast cancer."This funding will help us develop better, more targeted therapies against this highly aggressive form of breast cancer," Altieri said. "We are grateful to QVC and FFANY for their vision in ensuring this promising line of research moves forward."