There’s no better way to celebrate mom (or the other important women in your life) then with a card on Mother’s Day. This year, The Lynn Sage Foundation launched a new campaign around Mother’s Day to raise much needed funds for breast cancer research. For every $25 donation made between May 1 and Mother's Day, The Lynn Sage Foundation sent out an eCard that wished that special someone a Happy Mother's Day and let her know a donation had been made in her honor to find a cure for breast cancer.
With the generous backing of Mesirow Financial, who matched the first $15,000 donate, we were able to raise over $34,000 to support the Lynn Sage Scholar at the Northwestern Universities Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center.
Our current Scholar, Dr. Virginia Kaklamani has been working to identifying patients at high risk for breast, ovarian and colon cancers based on their genetic background. Dr. Kaklamani has been looking at novel genes and individual risk based on changes in these genes and has been working on several genes and their relation to cancer risk, most notably TGF-beta and adiponectin. One change in TGF-beta has been shown to be associated with increased colon and breast cancer risk in individuals who carry it. Also adiponectin, which is also related to obesity and diabetes, has also been found to change breast and colon cancer risk. The result of this research will help identify correctly high risk patients and offer these individuals better preventative measures (such as oophorectomy) or better screening strategies such as colonoscopies, MRIs of breast and more frequent mammograms.
Dr. Kaklamani is also working on identifying risk factors for weight gain in women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer. It has been shown that women with breast cancer gain weight and this weight gain increases the chance of recurrence of their cancer. Dr Kaklamani has initiated a study to evaluate breast cancer related weight gain, looking at genes that may be responsible for the weight gain as well as treatment related effects.
“The Lynn Sage Foundation has given me the support to examine the role of obesity and obesity related genes in breast cancer. This will help our breast cancer patients live longer and better lives.”
-Virginia Kaklamani, MD, DSc, Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology