Category Archives: Research

BCPC donates $95,000 to GRU Cancer Center Research

BCPC Presents $95,000 check to GRU Cancer Center

BCPC President Nita Zachow presents $95,000 check to GRU Cancer Center Director Dr. Samir Khleif for breast cancer research

On  August 9, 2013, the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC) presented Georgia Regents University (GRU) Cancer Center with a check for $95,000 for breast cancer research.  The check was accepted by Cancer Center Director Dr. Samir Khleif during a reception attended by GRU Cancer Center staff and BCPC members, including BCPC founding member, Dr. Margaret Devore. 

In anticipation of this gift, the GRU Cancer Center staff had carefully selected three breast cancer research projects to fund with the donation.  The researchers responsible for these projects are Dr. Ahmed Chadli, Dr. LesleyAnn Hawthorn, and Dr. Ravindra Kohle.  Each gave a synopsis of their research.   (Click here for more details.)

Dr. Khleif noted that “All three doctors are doing basic research that may contribute to improved treatments, earlier detection and, best of all, prevention of breast cancer.” He demonstrated his enthusiasm for the research by announcing that the Cancer Center will contribute an additional $25,000 to the projects.

The BCPC funds were raised primarily through annual golf tournaments sponsored by the Mount Vintage Plantation community and various fund raisers in area middle and high schools over the past four years.  Dr. Khleif thanked the BCPC and Mount Vintage for helping to move the vision of the GRU Cancer Center forward.


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BCPC Donates Funds For Livestrong at the YMCA

The BCPC has donated funds to begin research on the impact that moderate physical activity, supportive relationships and stress reduction techniques have on quality of life for breast cancer survivors.  The research includes whether recurrence rates can be reduced through lifestyle changes five to ten years after the program  The BCPC funds will be used to offer a program called LIVESTRONG at the YMCA in the Georgia Regents University (GRU) Wellness Center.  This is a twelve-week, small group physical fitness program designed for adult cancer survivors.

In the past, breast cancer survivors have usually been told “see you in six months or a year”. It has been up to each individual to  decide if there is anything she or he can do to help prevent a recurrence.  LIVESTRONG at the YMCA  offers support to cancer survivors who find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life.

“In my case, I googled ways to build my immune system and read about the importance of adding daily exercise to my schedule. I also made changes to my diet to add more nutritional foods. Praise God, I am 13 years cancer free! I am sad to say that many survivors don’t have the time or figure they have no means to improve their health. They just wait for the next visit to their Oncologist.”  Nita Zachow, BCPC President

Now, cancer survivors can be proactive regarding their health by participating in LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.  Doctors at GRU are supporting physical activity with qualified instructors. The program includes a pre- and post-test of aerobic endurance, muscle strength, balance and flexibility. Thus far, the average participant has seen up to 50 percent improvement!

The BCPC-funded program is targeted at breast cancer survivors.  It is free and includes a three month complimentary membership to the Family Y. Participation is by self-referral with physician permission.

We need partipcants!

If you are a breast cancer survivor, please consider joining LIVESTRONG at the YMCA offered at GRU.  Classes begin March 5th.   Contact Janet Thornburg at 803-349-8101, to enroll or ask questions.

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Filed under Breast Cancer Awareness, Research, Wellness

Opportunity for Avastin Patients to Enroll in Genetic Study

Editors Note:  As a followup on the FDA’s controversial 2011 decision to revoke its approval of Avastin for late-stage breast cancer treatment, we are reprinting this recent update from



April 12, 2012


Dear FAMEDS Supporters,

It’s been many months since we last communicated as all has been quiet on the Avastin front. Due to your good efforts, all Avastin patients with metastatic breast cancer at the time of the FDA’s decision continue to receive Avastin and insurance coverage through private insurance companies and Medicare.

Despite the FDA’s decision last year, Genentech, the manufacturer of Avastin, still appears firmly committed to researching the use of Avastin for metastatic breast cancer and a new study just opened a few weeks ago.

Genentech has partnered with 23andMe, a personal genetics company, on a first of its kind, pilot observational study (InVite) to learn if a person’s genes could play a role in how they respond to Avastin in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. More information about the study, such as eligibility, how to enroll and information about patient privacy are available at:

Eligibility includes being treated with Avastin at any point in 2010 and/or 2011. Genentech hopes to recruit 1,000 people to participate in the study who will be asked to send a saliva (spit) sample for genetic analysis, potentially provide a blood sample, and participate in an online survey to answer questions about their breast cancer and experience with Avastin.

The primary goals of this study are to determine if people are willing to participate in a web-based research model and to determine the effectiveness of gathering information through this method. In addition, Genentech hopes to analyze genetic information from study participants to determine if there are any genetic differences between people who do well on Avastin and those who do not.

This InVite study is not replacing the ongoing search for a biomarker through the Avastin clinical development program. Genentech still plans to initiate MERiDiAN this year, the Phase III trial discussed with the FDA that will evaluate Avastin plus paclitaxel in people with HER2-negative mBC and will also evaluate VEGF-A as a potential predictive biomarker for efficacy with Avastin.

While we have not heard of any problems, if you or someone you know has any questions or concerns about insurance coverage about Avastin, please call Genentech’s Access Solutions Group at (866) 4 ACCESS and the team of specialists may be able to help. If there are any new developments on the Avastin front please be assured that we will keep you informed.

Best regards,

Terry Kalley

Copyright © FAMEDs. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Breast Cancer Awareness, Events, News and Issues, Research

Help Create A Cancer-free Future

The American Cancer Society is conducting an historic cancer prevention long-term study and needs 300,000 participants. The study is called “Cancer Prevention Study-3” or CPS-3. By joining CPS-3, you can help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.

Please share this message with your family and friends

Briefly, anyone who is 30-65 years of age, who has NOT had cancer, and who is willing to do follow-up surveys at home for 20-30 years may sign up. To participate, you must make an appointment and complete a survey. On the day of the appointment, your waist will be measured and a small blood sample will be taken by a trained phlebotomist. Following enrollment, you will receive surveys at home every few years to update your information. (More FAQs)

Appointments are coming up at the following Augusta, Georgia, locations:

April 17 – University Hospital
April 18 – Doctors Hospital
April 19 – Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center

For participating locations in other areas, visit the American Cancer Society.

To enroll, or for more information about the study, please see any of the following websites:

Augusta Area CPS-3 Enrollment Information
Georgia Health Sciences Health System
American Cancer Society (or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888)

Act now because time slots are filling up quickly

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