Join Drew Baldridge in Supporting Breast Cancer Research!

db_neon_pink_tee_dreIn support of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, country music artist Drew Baldridge has teamed with Super 8 to launch Rebound From Cancer, a month-long fundraising campaign.

During the month of October, Drew is selling limited-edition t-shirts online and at his concerts with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the T.J. Martell Foundation.

db_neon_pink_tee“This is something that’s dear to my heart,” says Drew to Nash Country Daily. “My grandma got diagnosed with cancer a year and a half ago, and as an artist, I’ve always wanted to use what I’m doing for something bigger than myself. I’ve always wanted to give back. Now I feel like I’m starting to get to that platform where I can help.”

To learn more about Drew and his new single, “Rebound,” check out this article in Nash Country Daily. And be sure to buy your tee shirts today!

 

Gillian’s Story of Survival

487635909.224532414I am blessed to be alive! In 2013, I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, which had metastasized to other organs and bones in my body.  As I was being treated for pain management at a hospital in Westchester, NY the doctors and oncologist that evaluated my case said my days were numbered and recommended that my next stop was Hospice Care and beginning Chemotherapy treatments immediately, which did not align with my belief system.

This is where God stepped in with my sister finding out about Dr. James F. Holland from a colleague.  My prayers were answered in my first phone conversation with Dr. James F. Holland. He said, “Gillian, I am looking for someone who wants to live,” and I said, “you are speaking to that person.” In that same conversation Dr. Holland had already evaluated my case with a recommendation that saved my life, and the protocol did not involve Chemotherapy or Radiation.

I am filled with a tremendous amount of gratitude to report it’s been over two years and I am alive to share my story.  This is due to Dr. Holland’s expertise and support not just in the protocol he recommended, but his integrity and sincerity in supporting how I approached my healing process for my mind, body and spirit.

I was blessed to have the same amazing Oncologist that touched the life of T.J. Martell, and 40 years later he touched my life by his commitment to innovative cancer research.   I thank God for the T.J. Martell Foundation’s unwavering commitment to raising funds for innovative research to find treatments and cures for Leukemia, Cancer and Aids.  More importantly this funding enables more “Oncology Trailblazers” like Dr. James F. Holland to SAVE LIVES.

 

 

 

Guest Blog Post: What Causes Breast Cancer?

Dr. James Holland is the Distinguished Professor of Neoplastic Diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and his leadership is instrumental in the development of the T.J. Martell Memorial Laboratories in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Although there has been wonderful progress in diagnosing breast cancer in the last 35 years using physical exam, sonography, mammography and magnetic resonance imaging, and in surgery, substituting lumpectomy for radical mastectomy, and sentinel node biopsy for wide dissection, and in radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, so that the majority of women are now cured of this common disease,  little research has been done on finding one or more causes that makes this disease so common.

Recognized inherited genetic factors account for less than 10% of cases. The T.J. Martell Memorial Laboratories in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has a deep program exploring a viral cause for human breast cancer. Breast cancer in mice is known to be caused by a mammary tumor virus (MMTV).  We have found a virus 90 to 95% identical to MMTV which we have named HMTV, in 40% of the breast cancers in American women.  We can infect other cells with it, indicating HMTV is alive and active.  It is not in the normal tissues of the patient, thus excluding genetic inheritance, but rather is acquired after birth.  The distribution of the virus in breast cancers around the world (high in the USA, low in China for example) parallels the content of MMTV in the different species of mice which varies widely.

The work will continue until we provide rock solid proof that HMTV causes human breast cancer, which then opens up new means of prevention and therapy.  And none of this would have happened without Martell Foundation support.

Guest Blog Post: Breast Cancer Research is Saving Lives

Dr. Jennifer Pietenpol, Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and Professor of Biochemistry and Otolaryngology (with notebook), meets with breast cancer advocates.

Dr. Jennifer Pietenpol is Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and Professor of Biochemistry and Otolaryngology.

During October, the nation seems to be awash in the color pink as individuals, sports figures and even businesses recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This colorful display is a visual reminder that more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and nearly 40,000 will die from the disease. We all have a stake in trying to save the lives of these family members, friends and neighbors.

The encouraging news is that breast cancer death rates in the U.S. are actually falling, thanks to better diagnostic tools and improved cancer therapies. Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville has been one of the leaders in the effort to understand what is happening at the molecular level in breast cancer and to test new therapies to address those molecular markers.

In the past two years, investigators in my laboratory have discovered at least six subtypes of triple negative breast cancer – a particularly aggressive form of the disease for which there are few treatments. We are now initiating clinical trials to target these subtypes with specific therapies. A clinical trial for the luminal androgen receptor subtype will combine anti-androgen therapy with a drug targeting the PI3K pathway, which is often altered in this subtype. Another clinical trial will use chemotherapy with a PI3K inhibitor to target the other subtypes of triple negative breast cancer.

Using tumor biopsies that are embedded into the trials, we will also gain information about why certain tumors respond to these treatments while others don’t. In other breast cancer studies, we have tested new therapies that can shrink breast tumors before surgery, giving some women the option for less aggressive surgery and a better chance for a cure.

Many of these research initiatives at Vanderbilt-Ingram are made possible through the support of the T.J. Martell Foundation, which has been a longtime partner of the Cancer Center. In 1993, the Martell Foundation helped launch the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories in support of cancer research at Vanderbilt. Today, under the leadership of Harold (Hal) Moses, M.D., director emeritus of Vanderbilt-Ingram, dozens of scientists in the Preston Laboratories are exploring the mysteries behind breast cancer and working to uncover clues that will lead to better treatments.

In an era of dwindling federal funding for research, financial support from organizations like the T.J. Martell Foundation is crucial for the future of our research mission. We are grateful for the grassroots efforts of Martell-supported initiatives like Team Martina, an organization of singer Martina McBride’s fans who raise funds in support of breast cancer awareness and research. Martina McBride and Team Martina recently donated more than $40,000 to Vanderbilt-Ingram to help us expand our leading-edge cancer research efforts.