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  • What you need to know about the 2012 Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure

    As we gear up for the Komen Global Race for the Cure tomorrow, June 2 in Washington, DC, we wanted to provide you with important information you need to know about everything that is going on.

    Late Registration and Event Kit Pick up
    If you registered online after Monday, May 21 or still need to register, come to the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill to register and pick up your Event Kit.  The location will be open until 6:30p ET today, June 1.  All you need to bring for your Event Kit is a copy of your registration confirmation email. If you are picking up for fellow participants or team members, please bring a copy of their registration confirmation as well. If you are registering late, please bring a completed registration form, and if you are registering fellow team members, please bring their completed and signed registration forms for each team member. Information on getting to the Hyatt Regency can be found here.

    Race Day
    We strongly encourage all participants and spectators to use METRO to travel to and from the National Mall. METRO* will open EARLY at 5a ET for the convenience of Race participants. More information about getting to the National Mall can be found here. This year, the Race start line is at the Washington Monument, so be sure to check out the Race maps to ensure you find us! If you would like to know the entire Race route, that information can be found here. All Race activities start at 6a ET with the survivor and top fundraiser breakfast, and we kick off opening ceremonies at 7:40a ET. The entire Race day schedule can be found here and all Race day directions can be found here. You definitely don’t want to miss opening ceremony and post-Race festivities because we will have guest appearances from Sarah Charness, country music singer Colby Dee and Susan G. Komen Circle of Promise Ambassador Gabrielle Union!

    Social Media
    Please share your Global Race experience with us! Share your pics on the Global Race Facebook page, follow @KomenfortheCure, and join the Twitter conversation by using the official hashtag #GlobalRace.

    Many thanks to all of the Global Race sponsors, participants and volunteers, and we look forward to seeing you all bright and early tomorrow morning!

    *Please check with METRO for the most up-to-date information , including any planned or unscheduled service disruptions. 

  • Advancements in Early Detection: To Treat or Not to Treat

    Guest Post from Komen Scientific Grants Manager Margaret Flowers, Ph.D.

    Advancements in early detection allow doctors to detect tiny breast abnormalities before they become cancers. The question is then “to treat or not to treat.”

    With advancements in breast imaging technology, very small lesions (tissue abnormalities) are detectable long before they become palpable masses (as detected by clinical breast exam or by a woman herself), and that’s good because a breast cancer that’s detected early usually has a much better prognosis. However, the increased sensitivity of modern imaging technologies creates new challenges as well. The ability to detect very small premalignant (non-invasive) lesions may expose some women to unnecessary biopsies, surgery, radiation, and/or drugs because not all early breast cancers present the same risk. Many will never progress to invasive cancer, but we don’t currently know enough about the biology of these early lesions to predict those that will and those that will not. (Read Komen’s chief scientific  advisor, Dr. Eric Winer’s perspective on the issue of over treatment relating to mammography screening.)

    There is a recognized need to better understand the biology of non-invasive breast cancers in order to reduce the burden of unnecessary interventions, while preventing invasive breast cancer in those women at greatest risk.  Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer, is considered a precursor to invasive breast cancer. Currently the recommendation is to treat all DCIS with surgery.  Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), a less common form of non-invasive breast cancer, is typically considered to be an indicator of increased risk of invasive cancer but not a precursor lesion itself (though this more benign classification of LCIS has been debated for decades and remains unresolved).  Women with LCIS are offered preventive therapies such as tamoxifen, which can significantly decrease their risk of future invasive breast cancer. However, these preventive therapies are not without serious side effects, limiting their use for many women.

    In its 2011-2012 request for research proposals, Komen identified the need to better understand the biology of non-invasive breast cancers as one of its funding priorities. A diverse portfolio of applications from independent investigators across the US, Europe, Australia and Asia were submitted for consideration. Each application was reviewed by an expert panel of scientists and trained breast cancer advocates and scored on its scientific merit and potential for clinical impact. Following a fastidious, multi-step process, 5 high-impact proposals were selected for funding, totaling over four million dollars.

    Collectively, these studies will investigate critical aspects of the biology of premalignant breast cancer. The central topics to be explored include 1) genetic alterations that can be used to predict which premalignant lesions are likely to progress to malignancy, 2) protein biomarkers found in premalignant lesions that will be informative not only about the risk, but also the molecular profile of subsequent invasive breast cancer and may be potential therapeutic targets, and 3) key pathways that are activated in early breast cancer that can be targeted with novel drugs to block progression of premalignant to invasive breast cancer.

    I’m hugely excited about the projects Komen is funding in its prevention and early detection category this year. Results from these studies will significantly impact the way early breast disease is diagnosed and managed, and ultimately reduce incidence of invasive breast cancer and its associated mortality. As science manager of this review committee I had the unique privilege to read all of the candidate proposals. I was very impressed by the quality of the science and the ideas that were stimulated by Komen’s decision to select this critical area of research as a funding priority in 2012. It’s a powerful demonstration that Komen is clearly energizing the science that will end breast cancer forever.

    Read more about Komen’s 2012 research grants here.

  • Memorial Day Weekend Race for the Cure Recap – Ghana, Italy and Detroit

    Last weekend, 3 Race for the Cure events were held across the pond and in our backyard – Ghana, Bari, Italy and Detroit.

    On Friday, over 17,000 participants gathered for the 2nd Ghana Race for the Cure. Vice President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama spoke at the event, pointing out that many women in Ghana wait too long to seek care when noticing a change in their breast. He also insisted that the tendencies to resort to herbal and spiritual treatment and to blame breast cancer and other diseases on the activities of witches and wizards have made the disease so devastating in Ghana. and PEACE FM Online discuss the Race and the breast cancer burden in Ghana.

    Despite the rain in Detroit on Saturday (right before the walk started), thousands of breast cancer survivors and advocates were still excited to walk the Komen Detroit Race. Komen Detroit even had a great ceremony of Honor Guards for the Survivor parade. The Detroit Free Press reported that passion for the cause was in no short supply and participants seemed excited to join together in the fight against breast cancer. CW Detroit shares some photos from the event.

    And last but not least, Komen Italia held a 3-day event starting on Friday in celebration of the 6th annual Bari Race for the Cure on Sunday.  Friday and Saturday were dedicated to education and prevention while 12,000 participants and nearly 900 “Ladies in Pink” gathered at the Piazzale Prefettura on Sunday to walk 3.1 miles in the Komen Bari Race for the Cure. The most emotional moment of the event was when the participants launched pink balloons after the Race as a reminder of the many women who have lost their lives to breast cancer.

    Many thanks to all who walked, ran, donated and volunteered at all of our Races last weekend. Our work isn’t possible without your support.

    Up next weekend:

    – The Komen Global Race for the Cure in Washington, DC (join the conversation on Twitter by using #GlobalRace in your tweets!),

    – the Komen South Central Wisconsin Race for the Cure in Madison, WI,

    – the Komen Connecticut Race for the Cure in Hartford, CT,

    – the Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure in Seattle, WA and

    – the Komen Deutschland Race for the Cure in Hamburg, Germany

    You can find your local Komen Race for the Cure here.

  • More Exciting News About Our Research Funding!

    Susan G. Komen Research Grants | TexasGreat news in the Lone Star State as breast cancer researchers will share $8.4 million in new research dollars from Komen to develop breakthrough drugs for common breast cancers, more effectively treat advanced forms of the disease, and improve breast cancer outcomes for Latinas!

    And we are proud to say that with this year’s grants slate, our research investment in Texas now totals $85 million since we were founded in 1982!

    The research grants augment more than $10 million in 2012 community health grants provided by Komen Affiliates in Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Waco, Plano, Tyler, Wichita Falls, Texarkana, El Paso, Amarillo and Lubbock. The community programs served hundreds of thousands of women, providing screenings, education, treatment assistance and financial and social support to Texans facing breast cancer.

    As always, none of this research or progress of the past 30 years would be possible without the generosity of our partners and donors in communities, and we are so grateful for those who understand and support this vital work for all people facing breast cancer.

    More detailed information on the Texas grants can be found within the full press release located here. For a complete list and description of our 2012 grants, including the new peer-reviewed Texas grants, is available here.*

    All grants and awards are contingent upon receipt of a fully executed agreement.
    *Web table only includes Komen peer-reviewed grants.

  • Komen Race for the Cure: from Kalamazoo to the Colosseum, Rome

    Last weekend kicked off with 6 Race events from Komen Columbus, Komen Montana, Komen Central New York, Komen Twin Tiers, Komen SW Michigan and Komen Italia!

    The Columbus Dispatch (here as well) spoke with participants at the Columbus Race, including breast cancer survivor Ron Coleman who is determined to raise greater awareness for male breast cancer.

    Komen Central New York saw more than 6,000 enthusiastic participants come out to support the cause. This year, Race day featured Pink Paddles where survivors could write their years of survivorship and display them proudly.

    Komen Montana participants shared how for many, running or walking was a celebration of life. Participants enjoyed the beautiful state capitol grounds, and after the Race, all of the survivors in attendance gathered on the capitol steps for the survivor ceremony.

    Sunday followed with the Komen Twin Tiers and Komen Southwest Michigan Races. The Komen Twin Tiers Race reported over 3,000 participants, trumping last year’s record participation of 2,800!

    In Kalamazoo, MI, supporters at the Komen Southwest Michigan Race enjoyed the warm weather and shared their inspiration to participate in the event, emphasizing the importance of the local funds.

     And last, but certainly not least, the 13th Komen Italia Race for the Cure in Rome was another huge success with over 50,000 participants! As a unique characteristic of this Race, Komen Italia hosted a “Health Village” where underserved women could receive free breast cancer screenings and sessions on breast health from volunteer medical professionals. Check out their video.

    We’d like to give a big “thank you!” to all of our participants, volunteers, sponsors and supporters around the globe. Your passion and support help us get even closer to ending breast cancer forever.