Local News

New metastatic breast cancer research initiative announced

Posted December 5, 2019 5:01 p.m. EST

— The Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast organization on Thursday announced a "groundbreaking project" to accelerate "bench to bedside" research on metastatic breast cancer.

The organization made the announcement at its sixth annual Finding Solutions Research Luncheon. It will bring together Susan G. Komen, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the research project.

“Death from metastatic breast cancer is unacceptable. Now is the time to focus on the only breast cancer that kills. Research is hope for those fighting metastatic breast cancer today, and for those who will be diagnosed tomorrow,” said Pam Kohl, executive director at Komen NC Triangle to the Coast (NCTC).

Susan G. Komen set its "Bold goal" in 2016 to reduce breast cancer deaths in the United States by 50 percent by 2026 Metastatic breast cancer is the leading cause of breast cancer death.

“Today, the five-year survival rate for metastatic breast cancer is twenty-five percent," said Lori Maris, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Network at Susan G. Komen. "There is a unique opportunity in the Triangle area to provide breakthrough research at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill targeted specifically at metastatic breast cancer,”

The Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast organization said in a press release the MBC Research Initiative "will ignite collaboration and fast track lifesaving research for MBC. By leveraging local expertise and removing research silos that slow progress, new ways for patients to live well and longer will be discovered. This strategy will be led by Pam Kohl, who will move from eight years as executive director of Komen NCTC to become the Affiliate’s director of the metastatic breast cancer initiative."

“It is research that will cure this disease, and until then, it is research that will transform metastatic breast cancer from terminal to chronic, giving patients and their families the priceless gift of time,” said Kohl “I am honored to lead this unique opportunity. Working together with the brilliant minds at UNC and Duke, we can have a global impact that begins right here in the Research Triangle.”

“We are so pleased to launch this one-of-a-kind initiative which we believe will move the needle in reducing breast cancer deaths across our state and around the globe. With Pam’s strategic vision and passion for research, this initiative will help us find the cures for the most aggressive and deadliest forms of breast cancer,” said Valencia Davis, president of the Board of Directors at Komen NCTC.

Board officials said a national search will begin for a new executive director Krista Park Berry, the Affiliate’s Director of Development and Communications, will serve as acting director during the interim.

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