In June, we had the pleasure of bringing you our first ever Komen Mission Webinar. The purpose of this online meeting was to allow 3-Day participants and Komen supporters in all corners of the world to hear firsthand about the impact that Komen funds are making to one researcher’s groundbreaking work.
The webinar began with an introduction from Chrissy Mathews, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Project Manager. Chrissy welcomed Victoria Wolodzko, Vice President of Research and Community Heath Program Operations at Susan G. Komen, who shared some important information about Komen’s granting process and why it is vital for these grants to continue.
From there, it was on to the webinar’s guest of honor. Dr. Justin Balko is a researcher and professor at Vanderbilt University. With a small but brilliant team of scientists, Dr. Balko is primarily studying treatment options for triple negative breast cancer, which he succinctly defined as breast cancers that are missing certain hormone receptors; put simply, the absence of these elements means that these types of cancer often don’t respond well to many current breast cancer treatments. He described triple negative breast cancer as “a small proportion [of all breast cancers] but also the worst outcome of all of the clinically recognized subtypes. It tends to impact younger patients, it tends to have a very aggressive course, and there are really no targeted agents approved, and unfortunately because of that, it’s currently only treated with chemotherapy.” Dr. Balko went on to explain how his lab seeks to identify which patients will benefit from certain treatments, and how they can make it so that more patients respond to treatment, often involving a combination of drugs/therapies.
Up next, Dr. Balko continues with an explanation of the particular type of treatment that his lab is working on: immunotherapy. Please take a few minutes to view the next few clips from the webinar to see and hear about the truly exciting advances that are being made in this emerging field of treatment.
In the last few clips from the webinar, we hear Dr. Balko share what the “next steps” goals are for him and his team, and he offers his appreciation for the support that his lab gets from Komen and its supporters.
If you’d like to view the Komen Mission Webinar in its entirety, please visit here.