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Delta’s partner, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, is the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the country. Since 2005, Delta employees, customers and their friends and families have raised $11 million for BCRF. These donations fund vital research and awareness programs aimed at putting an end to breast cancer.

In 2016-2017, BCRF is supporting more than 250 grantees working on six continents to achieve that goal.

Money donated by Delta employees and customers are fully funding seven BCRF research grants in the 2016-2017 year. These projects span from the U.S. to Paris to Australia. 

Learn more about the seven BCRF research grants supported by Delta-donated funds below.

BCRF researcher John Forbes
BCRF researcher Cuzick
John Forbes, MB BS;
FRACS, AM, of Newcastle, Australia (University of Newcastle) and Jack Cuzick, PhD, of London, U.K. (Queen Mary, University of London)

Co-Investigators - Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group

Forbes and Cuzick, through the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, are working to identify risk factors for women with very high and very low chances of developing breast cancer based on testing of molecular markers. To do this, they have created a High Risk Breast Bio-Bank as a resource to identify new biomarkers from blood, tumor tissue and mammograms that can predict outcomes for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. In the coming year, Drs. Forbes and Cuzick will continue to expand the bio-bank and conduct analyses of clinical outcome data and biomarkers to improve prediction of risk.

BCRF researcher Hedvig Hricak
MD, PhD, of New York City (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)
With BCRF support since 2004, Hricak’s global, world-class clinical research training program has provided radiologists from around the world with intensive, individualized instruction in breast imaging interpretation and clinical research methodology. Her work is helping to establish standardized best practices and fostering international collaborations to improve patient care and outcomes. During the next year, Dr. Hricak’s team will continue to recruit and train leaders in breast imaging, which will provide them with the capacity to influence clinical practice and research, as well as health policy relating to breast imaging in their communities.

BCRF researcher Arti Hurria
Arti Hurria, MD, of Duarte, Calif. (City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center)
Hurria’s work is focusing on survivorship and disparities in healthcare, particularly in older adults and Hispanic women, whose incidence rates are increasing and differences in care contribute to poorer breast cancer survival. Hurria is working to develop a touchscreen Geriatric Assessment Tool that will utilize computer technology to identify risk factors for chemotherapy side effects. The ultimate goal of this this work is to develop a model that can predict the trajectory of changes in cognitive function in cancer survivors and guide the development of interventions to preserve the cognition and well-being of older survivors of breast cancer.

BCRF researcher Lidereau
Rosette Lidereau, PhD, of Paris, France (Institut Curie)
Lidereau’s BCRF project focuses on understanding the processes involved in metastasis, particularly how tumor cells can migrate, or move from one place to another, a characteristic that normal breast cells do not have. Her lab has identified an essential protein called Kindlin-1 that causes tumor cells to become mobile and increases their ability to invade neighboring tissue, and in the coming year, she will continue her work to better understand the role of kindlin-1 in the dynamics of tissue architecture and breast cancer metastasis. These studies may lead to new therapeutic strategies for aggressive breast cancers.

BCRF researcher Anne McTiernan
Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, of Seattle, Wash., (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington)
Obesity increases the risk for postmenopausal breast cancer and negatively impacts breast cancer survival. With support from BCRF, McTiernan is working to determine the effects of weight loss and exercise on breast cancer risk factors in postmenopausal, overweight or obese women by measuring several blood markers of breast cancer in this population. The knowledge gained from these studies will help determine the lifestyle changes that women can make to reduce risk for breast cancer and improve prognosis.

BCRF researcher Merajver
Sofia D. Merajver, MD, PhD, of Ann Arbor, Mich. (University of Michigan)
In the coming year, Merajver will continue to develop laboratory tools to help guide therapies to prevent metastases in women with aggressive breast cancers worldwide, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where healthcare resources are scarce. Her team has designed and is testing simple synthetic devices that mimic the organs of the body where breast cancers typically spread. By placing live cancer cells from breast cancer patients inside the devices, they can study which cells are able to spread to distant sites, even before a tumor would be clinically detectable. Their goal is to be able to selectively eliminate those cells most likely to impact patient survival in a personalized manner for each patient.

BCRF researcher Richard Zellars
Richard C. Zellars, MD, of Indianapolis, Ind. (Indiana University School of Medicine)
Zellar’s work focuses on treatment strategies and addressing the wide variety of responses to current breast cancer therapies. With BCRF support, he is conducting two clinical trials aimed at optimizing the use of radiation therapy in both the pre-surgery and post-surgery settings to address these needs. Early results show promising signs of providing more personalized treatment methods.