Our fundraising directly supports breast cancer research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) – where world-class scientists are dedicated to finding new approaches for the prevention and treatment of breast and ovarian cancers.
For over 100 years, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) based in Melbourne, Australia has brought together the brightest minds in medical research to collaborate and innovate to make discoveries that will help us to live healthier for longer.
A powerhouse of breast cancer research
An internationally recognised team led by Professor Jane Visvader and Professor Geoff Lindeman has a track record of breakthrough discoveries in breast cancer research. The team is now working towards landmark clinical trials that will bring us a step closer to improving outcomes for BRCA carriers – notably, stopping cancers before they begin without the need for surgery.
While working in collaboration with other experts at WEHI, and in conjunction with colleagues both nationally and internationally, the Visvader-Lindeman Laboratory continues to be recognised as a global powerhouse in breast cancer research.
The WEHI breast cancer research program has the potential to be a game-changer for women around the world with BRCA mutations.
This huge body of work aims to discover what causes normal cells to turn cancerous, as well as developing more effective treatments and prevention strategies, including:
– A potential new drug combination for breast cancer prevention;
– Understanding the proteins responsible for cancerous cells surviving treatments; and
– Identifying how to make BRCA1 tumours more vulnerable to immunotherapy.
Their work has contributed to extraordinary developments in our understanding of breast cancer, including:
- Isolating the long-sought mammary stem cell, and revealing how this gives rise to breast tissue,
- Identification of daughter cells of mammary stem cells and key molecular regulators of these cell types,
- Revealing which breast cells can – if faulty – go on to contribute to breast cancer, and explaining why hormone exposure can elevate breast cancer,
- Identifying the daughter cells that go awry in women who carry the BRCA1 risk gene, leading to a new prevention strategy for these women, an approach now being tested in clinical trials and
- Developing new approaches for pre-clinical testing of human breast cancer samples, leading to the discovery of potential new therapeutic options.
While the global pandemic disrupted the progress of some of this work, most projects are now back on track and progressing well, however funding is urgently required to continue this ground-breaking work.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
of Medical Research
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