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How Researchers, Clinicians and Patient Advocates Can Accelerate Lobular Breast Cancer Research
Lobular Ireland and founder Siobhán Freeney are extremely honoured to be named co author on this Paper and will continue to raise awareness and education around Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer in Ireland and across Europe.
This commentary reflects a collaborative effort between international Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)-focused breast cancer researchers, clinicians and patient advocate leaders. It offers a perspective on the progress made in ILC research in recent years and discusses the recent rise in patient advocate involvement to advance ILC research, raise awareness and educate about this disease. It outlines several distinct challenges in conducting ILC research and describes opportunities and suggestions for ways researchers, clinicians and advocates can work together to advance ILC research to develop new therapies and refine the care offered to patients.
Breast cancer research and therapies have significantly advanced in recent years. However, Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC), the second most common histological type of breast cancer and the sixth most frequently diagnosed cancer of women, has not always benefited from critical analysis, missing opportunities to better understand this important subtype. Recent progress understanding the biological and behavioral differences of ILC demonstrates that it is a unique subtype of breast cancer which can respond differently to common therapies. These new insights have increased interest in researching lobular breast disease. Concurrently, the formation of motivated patient-led advocacy organizations working in partnership with basic, translational and clinical researchers creates new opportunities, including connecting a dispersed patient population to research, encouraging new research funding and connecting patient advocates to researchers to advance common goals. This commentary will explore the unprecedented opportunity to drive multidisciplinary, multicenter and international collaborative research into lobular breast cancer that builds on recent research progress. Collaborative research partnerships that include advocates can result in a better understanding of ILC, identify targeted therapies and refine standard of care therapies that are currently equally applied to all breast cancers, resulting in improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for patients with ILC.
Keywords: breast cancer, lobular, ductal, invasive lobular carcinoma, ILC, patient advocacy, advocacy, research advocacy
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