Breast Cancer Research

Special Series:

Breast Cancer Research

Facing a Formidable Foe

An estimated 255,180 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,400 cases of noninvasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women this year. And while incidence rates overall have dropped since 2000, the disease still kills more than 40,500 women annually. Despite many advances in diagnosis and treatment, much remains unknown. In this five-part series, we look at how BU researchers are increasing our understanding of breast cancer and improving outcomes.

In this series

  • Illustration symbolizing breast cancer research using zebrafish

    Chapter 1 Zebrafish Cancer Genetics Illuminate Human Breast Cancers

    Hui Feng conducts breast cancer research in what seems like a curious way: by studying the cancer genetics of zebrafish. The focus: the gene MYC, altered in nearly all human cancers.

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  • illustration symbolizing the effect of dioxins and other toxic chemical chemical carcinogens in the environment that cause breast cancer

    Chapter 2 Dioxins Point to Targets for Treating Breast Cancer

    Chemical carcinogens like dioxin have been linked to many cancers, including breast cancer. But according to David Sherr, understanding these toxic chemicals may, surprisingly, point to new ways to treat the toughest breast cancers, including triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).

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  • Black Woman Health Disparities illustration

    Chapter 3 Too Many Black Women Die from Breast Cancer. Why?

    Breast cancer is not color-blind. Although it strikes women (and less commonly, men) of every age and race, black women are more likely than white women to die of breast cancer. Why? Researchers have been aware of the disparity for decades, but it has resisted easy explanation. And today, the stakes are higher than ever. […]

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  • Illustration symbolizing noninvasive biomedical imaging of breast tumors

    Chapter 4 Wearable Windows into Breast Tumors

    A new biomedical imaging device developed by ENG’s Darren Roblyer offers doctors a window into breast cancer tumors and could one day tell them immediately when a drug isn’t working, allowing them to change a treatment plan and avoid ineffective treatment and wasted time.

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  • Illustration of hands holding the body of a woman symbolizing the help of patient navigators for underserved women with breast cancer

    Chapter 5 Patient Navigators Improve Delivery of Care for Breast Cancer Patients

    Poor and underserved women with breast cancer face numerous barriers to receiving timely and appropriate care. Rigorous clinical studies conducted by BMC researchers have shown that pairing them with a patient navigator—a staff person who helps them overcome those barriers—significantly improves quality of care.

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