Susan G. Komen Mission Webinar: What We Learned

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.

 

Susan G. Komen Mission Webinar Recap and Full Video!

Earlier this year, the 3-Day held a series of Komen Impact Forums in 10 cities across the country. The forums were hosted by Chrissy Mathews, the 3-Day program manager for Susan G. Komen, and she was joined by other members of the Komen leadership team, as well as grantees in each city who have received funds from Komen. The goal of the Impact Forums was to initiate a dialogue between Komen and the 3-Day community, addressing common questions and concerns and allowing the 3-Day participants to hear first-hand from the doctors, caregivers, patients and advocates in their own communities who have benefited from Komen funding.

In that same spirit, Komen held its first ever Mission Webinar in early June with the goal of reaching even more of its supporters, no matter where they live. Like with the in-person Impact Forums, the webinar was an opportunity for people (especially those who support Komen through their participation and donations to the 3-Day) to learn a little more about how Komen funding works and hear directly from a researcher, Dr. Justin Balko, whose work has greatly benefited from the money raised by the 3-Day and other Komen efforts.

Dr. Justin Balko is an extraordinary young researcher (his list of titles is remarkable in itself) whose lab is making tremendous discoveries in the field of immunotherapy as a treatment option for triple negative breast cancer. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry; Dr. Balko is also a teacher and does a wonderful job of explaining his very complex work in a way that anyone can understand.

We invite you to take time to view the recording of the Komen Mission Webinar and learn about these exciting advances yourself.