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When that day comes, Promega hopes to have played a supporting role

The Need

More than 1.2 million people around the world will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. It is the most common malignancy among women worldwide (1). In the US alone, the incidence rate has increased from one in 20 in 1960 to one in eight today. In some aspects scientists are already making considerable gains. Breast cancer death rates have been dropping steadily since 1990 thanks to continued discoveries that have paved the way for earlier detection and better treatments.

The Commitment to Find New Therapies

This complex and heterogenous disease is being investigated from numerous angles - genetic, physiological and environmental. Last year alone more than 20,000 research papers were published investigating subjects as diverse as the effect of inherited mutations, the mechanisms of cell cycle regulation, the elucidation of DNA repair and signaling pathways within cancer cells, the investigation of the role of hormone receptors, the search for cancer-specific markers, and the development of more sensitive methods for the detection of disseminated tumor cells.

The eventual unraveling of molecular signatures….
holds tremendous promise as a means to identify
effective therapies or a cure.

The eventual unraveling of the molecular signatures of various types of cancer cells holds tremendous promise as a means to identify effective therapies or a cure. Knowledge of the cellular mechanisms involved in the development of individual cancers raises the possibility of treatment based on specific inhibitors, antibodies, vaccines, or gene therapy, and has already led to the development of therapeutic agents, such as monoclonal antibodies (2-4) and aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole and others (5,6), which were developed directly as a result of the identification of specific molecular targets within cancer cells.

Such critical leaps in our knowledge…cannot be achieved without the contribution of many unsung heroes.

Such critical leaps in our knowledge represent the culmination of many years of painstaking research and cannot be achieved without the contributions of many unsung heroes. Their body of work, often involving the step-by-step elucidation of seemingly small parts of complex molecular pathways, forms the foundation from which such leaps are made.

Recent Discoveries

It is often said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The enormous complexity of the group of diseases characterized as breast cancer means that the journey towards elucidation of its causes and appropriate therapies/preventative strategies is of necessity composed of many, many, small steps. This web highlights a small selection of recent papers investigating various aspects of the disease, each illuminating its own part of the next step on the road to the journey’s end. Use the links under "Breast Cancer Research Today" on the right to view summaries of these research papers. Click on "More Breast Cancer Citations" to browse through a larger selection of recent papers.


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