On the way to a cure
Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer death for European women over 35. Nearly 500,000 women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day and science plays a key role in finding effective answers and treatments that renew hope for a healthier future.
A partnership with history
Fundo iMM-Laço, headquartered at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Lisbon, raises funds to support research, looking to discover the causes of breast cancer and the mechanisms that trigger metastatic breast cancer.
Since 2015, Pioneer paper has reinforced its support for this cause, contributing financially to seven research projects, through Fund iMM-Laço:
A 100% Pioneer project
Inducing the selective death of breast cancer cells through increased DNA damage.
Field: Molecular test for relapse risk assessment
This project seeks to categorise each type of breast cancer to find thebest suited treatment for the patient. The collection of samples during surgery from early breast cancer patients, allows the research team to calculate the risk of relapse and to distinguish between two groups of patients with greater and lesser risk thereby selecting the most beneficial therapy for each patient.
Field: Tumor DNA sequencing
The project’s goal is to develop a molecular test that can determine low-risk cancers and enable one to identify cases in which more aggressive treatments, such as chemotherapy, are unnecessary. Such a test will allow for more personalised therapies.
Field: Cell study
The research team led by Sérgio Dias works to understand how the different components of tumour cells and immune cells communicate with each other, and how they allow the tumour to develop. In future, the goal will be to identify a molecular marker in specific patients to counter tumour growth through a response by their individual immune systems.
Field: Myeloid cell manipulation
Science & Technology Foundation (“FCT”) investigator Karine Serre’s mission is to study the immune system and its potential for the treatment of cancer, and monitor the development of immunotherapy in these patients. The iMM scientist stresses that the funding granted by Fundo iMM-Laço and Pioneer is vital for these studies to succeed.
Field: Metastatic disease research
Sandra Casimiro, a researcher at iMM, uses samples taken from Portuguese patients to study the mutations that lead to the development of breast cancer. As a team, iMM is gathering as many samples as possible to validate the many findings to date so they can be applied clinically and quickly, improving the treatment and prognosis of these patients.
Field: Study of breast cancer preference for bone metastasis
Luís Costa's mission is to capture indicators that show a higher propensity for the disease to advance to the bone, and to predict cases in which it could evolve into other organs. The principal investigator also emphasizes the importance of understanding the mechanisms of resistance to hormone therapy, and the fact that there are no indicators to reveal the most appropriate treatment for each patient.