This is Why You Give: Your Healthy Breast Tissue at Work

Thanks in part to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a major funder of the Komen Tissue Bank, an exciting new clinical trial is now open to patients with aggressive breast cancer. We are excited to share with you news of the opening of a first-of-its-kind clinical trial for metastatic triple negative breast cancer that originated as an investigation utilizing the healthy tissue samples collected by the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Milan Radovich, PhD, and Kathy Miller, MD, have created a unique partnership bridging bench and clinical research to address this problem. In their words: “This venture originally started with one question: What is different about triple negative breast cancer that makes it so difficult to treat? Because of the incredible resource we have in the tissue samples collected by the Komen Tissue Bank, we were able to compare triple negative tumors to samples of healthy breast tissue to determine the biomarkers that make triple negative breast cancer so unique. This analysis led our team to a new drug combination we believe will effectively combat this most aggressive type of breast cancer. Now, we embark on a Phase 1 trial, which means this is the first time these two drugs will be utilized in combination to treat patients.”

“No targeted therapy currently exists for triple negative breast cancer. Over the course of this trial, we will discover if we can change that. Instead of being told there is no viable treatment for their disease, today patients will hear that there is a new option. Over the next several months, we will pour through data and follow trial participants closely. We are incredibly thankful to the brave women who will enroll in this trial, as discovery would not be possible without their willingness to participate in cutting-edge research.”

We at the KTB are thrilled about this study. The initial laboratory work was comparing healthy tissue (from the KTB!) to triple negative tumors. That allowed Dr. Milan Radovich to identify what was driving the triple negative tumors. Dr. Kathy Miller is leading the clinical portion of the trial now.

We are reminded that it takes a team to move research forward. It is amazing to be able to tell all of our tissue donors reading this, that this trial is only possible because you donated your healthy breast tissue!