At Cabrini, we are involved in state-of-the-art translational breast cancer research, with the aim of increasing curative treatment outcomes in patients.
Dr Tali Lang is part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians who are investigating biological changes seen in different types of breast cancer and trying to identify the most effective treatment based on the molecular profile of individual tumours.
“What we are doing is essentially looking to personalise the treatment for breast cancer patients,” Dr Lang said.
Current treatments for breast cancer include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, however treatment responses and side-effects varied from patient to patient.
“Not all breast cancer patients respond to treatment, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, so we are trying to determine the best treatment plan based on cancer sub-types.”
This year, Breast Friends by the Bay are raising money towards research in prevention and improved treatment outcomes for breast cancer patients. Breast Friends have announced they will host The Brighton Lunch, donating 50 per cent of funds raised to the Cabrini Breast Cancer Organoid Program.
Dr Lang said their research aimed to identify molecular and genomic changes, which have occurred within breast cancer cells, and how the changes influenced treatment responses.
“This will help us to determine what treatment is most effective for killing the cancer cells in a range of breast cancers,” she said.
Dr Lang said Cabrini, in collaboration with Professor Abud at Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, had successfully grown breast cancer organoids, which are miniaturised versions of the original tumour removed from the patient and grown in a laboratory.
“By using breast cancer organoids we can distinguish between effective and ineffective treatments and be able to predict in patients which treatment will be most effective for their type of cancer.”
She said the money raised through Breast Friends would allow Cabrini to expand on its current collection of breast tumour organoids, perform genomic and RNA sequencing and drug testing on breast tumour organoids in order to identify changes in the expression of candidate genes implicated in tumour development and determine the efficacy of anti-cancer drug treatments across a range of breast cancer sub-types.
Dr Lang said findings from this research could be translated for use in the clinical setting to guide physicians regarding which patients were more likely to respond to specific treatments, and which treatments had the best chance of a curative outcome, based on the molecular profiling of the tumour.
Cabrini treats about 650 breast cancer patients each year, providing comprehensive care including diagnostics, surgery, immunotherapy, infusion treatment, physiotherapy, counselling and psychological support.
To support Cabrini Breast Cancer Care, including Dr Lang’s research, please donate at cabrinifoundation.com.au/donate/cabrini-sites/293/ or call 03 9508 1380.
For more information on The Brighton Lunch, click here.