McMaster’s Dr. Anna Dvorkin-Gheva has been awarded a grant by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to study drugs that can be combined with current chemotherapy to make it more effective.
Instead of looking at new treatment options that would take time before becoming the preferred therapy by practitioners, Dr. Dvorkin-Gheva is looking to modify existing therapies in order to bring better care to patients sooner.
“I know people who are currently living with breast cancer and it has been hard to see friends go through such difficult treatments,” said Dr. Dvorkin-Gheva, CBCF-funded fellow. “What I really want to do is to provide hope by making established treatments more effective and increase survival rates.”
The drugs Dr. Dvorkin-Gheva is looking at within her research are already established compounds with a lot of information compiled about them, which will hopefully be a strong base of knowledge to work from and help to develop improvements faster.
Current anti-cancer drugs don’t provide a complete cure and patients with a subtype breast cancer that is particularly aggressive (triple-negative) have much lower survival rates in the years following treatment, with only 30 per cent of patients treated surviving more than five years.
Said Sandra Palmaro, CEO, CBCF-Ontario. “ with one in nine women being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, there is still so much more for us to learn and it is critical that we continue to invest in innovative and relevant research each and every year.”
Since 1986, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has given out over $93 million in funding to over 600 research, fellowships and health promotion projects focused on breast health and breast cancer across Ontario.