NOV 18, 2016 08:02 AM PST

A Database That Could Save Lives


A breast cancer diagnosis is traumatic, but the type of breast cancer matters. Those patients who are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) have an especially hard time navigating treatment decisions. "Mets", as it is sometimes referred to, accounts for 40,000 deaths per year. In the US, MBC is responsible for 7% of the total cancer deaths. Patients are told the hard facts of MBC at diagnosis. The disease is incurable, it's terminal and the average life span after diagnosis is 33 months. It's a lot to take in.

The Broad Institute has partnered with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to create The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project. Its goal is to create a database of information and tumor samples from MBC patients all across the country. Women can go on to the website, click one button that says "Count Me In" and the project will be able to access that woman's patient records and stored tumor samples. By gaining access to this information, researchers can harness the power of Big Data to find trends in the disease, commonalities in treatments, and get a better idea of what works and what doesn't. In addition, patients who are undergoing treatment for MBC can feel a part of the process, a part of the research that someday might find a cure.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 31, 2018
Videos
OCT 31, 2018
Why does severe pain cause vomiting?
Feeling nausea or vomiting are known to be common side effects of severe pain. But, why? To answer this question, research was conducted on surgical patien...
NOV 01, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 01, 2018
Mid-air Chemistry Experiment Opens Up a New Era in Metal-organic Frameworks Research
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are molecules with network structures made of metal ion cores coordinated to organic ligands. Due to their high internal su...
NOV 03, 2018
Videos
NOV 03, 2018
Why Does Your Tooth Hurt Biting into Candies?
After Halloween, eating so much candy and not following good hygiene protocols may cause cavities. However, what makes chomping onto a chocolate bar (or ot...
NOV 10, 2018
Videos
NOV 10, 2018
Engineering Viable Offspring From Same-sex Mouse Parents
Using a special kind of stem cell and genetic engineering, researchers have learned more about what's possible in reproduction....
NOV 11, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 11, 2018
Stop Procrastinating, It's Not Good for You
Procrastination is common, but some people procrastinate much more than others. Those who do it persistently probably exhibit something known as chronic pr...
NOV 15, 2018
Videos
NOV 15, 2018
A Season of Outbreaks
In a few different places around the world, people are facing disease outbreaks due to pathogenic microbes....
Loading Comments...