The Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research is proud to have served the community for 40 years. This past year the foundation has realized exceptional impact as we extended a series of webinars originally created in response to the pandemic. Over the year we offered six educational webinars on a range of critical research topics. Especially well attended included: Mapping the Anatomy of the Ducts with Dr. John Klock in May 2022 and Autoexploracion Mamaria with Dr. Ana Lilia López Aldrete in September 2022, the second all Spanish speaking webinar hosted by the Foundation.
The Love Research Army, now 390,000 strong, deploys those who have to date filled 180 studies. In the past year alone, nine studies were filled, with over 120,000 women and men participating. The intentionally recruited diversity of the Army has proven beneficial for many studies needing to enroll racial/ethnic minorities, women of varying sexual orientations, or young survivors. The Love Research Army, formerly known as the Army of Women, was founded in October 2008 by Dr. Susan Love and launched on The Today Show. Sophia Smith, PhD, MSW testified that [the Love Research Army] has “greatly facilitated our recruitment efforts for the Reimagine trial. The staff were extremely responsive to our needs and their registration process is highly efficient. We were able to hit our recruitment goal in a brief six weeks with minimal effort.” Globally, many researchers partner with the Army on multiple studies as they appreciate the benefits of accelerated accrual possible with the program. One example: researcher Annette Stanton, PhD, at UCLA Psychology, has recruited from the Love Research Army for over 11 studies as a primary investigator or collaborator.
In February 2023 the Foundation underwrote its 11th Annual Symposium of the Human Breast at UCLA bringing together nearly 100 researchers, clinicians and advocates from across the U.S. and internationally. Among the participants this year were researchers and clinicians from Canada, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The Foundation selected several for support, granting more than $100,000 to pursue their proposed efforts to end breast cancer. This tradition began with the first International Symposium of the Breast in 1998, the Foundation has awarded 63 pilot grants that have resulted in over 100 publications. And the Foundation has also become synonymous with connecting advocates to the research – at this year’s Symposium the Foundation provided 20 full scholarships to applicant advocates from all over the U.S. putting them in the room to ensure they an integral part of the conversation, never an afterthought to research that affects them.
Beyond the Symposium, our direct clinical research has flourished this year. The results of the study “Breast Glandular and Ductal Volume Changes During the Menstrual Cycle: A Study in 48 Breasts Using Ultralow Frequency Transmitted Ultrasound Volography”, funded by the Foundation, was recently submitted to the journal Investigative Radiology.
QT Ultrasound received FDA clearance for the fibroglandular volume (FGV) measurement — an automated software tool as part of the scanner machine itself — that proved effective while being used during the QT – Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Study. This will be the only FDA-approved breast volume measurement tool so far to be used to measure all the following, providing a great tool for Breast Cancer Screening and treatment response measurement:
- Determining a woman’s breast cancer risk based on FGV
- Determining if a woman’s breast tissue is responding to hormone therapy
- Determine if a woman’s breast tissue is responding to chemotherapy
- Determine if a woman’s breast tissue is responding to radiation or cryotherapy
- Determine if a woman’s breast tissue is responding to her breast cancer prevention treatments
Finally, the multi-year, NIH co-sponsored, CAD Ultrasound project was finalized in November 2022 and the data generated by this study and collected in the Manuscript “Toward AI-Supported Ultrasound Triage of Women with Palpable Breast Lumps in a Low-Resource Setting”, has been accepted for publication by the prestigious scientific journal Radiology.
A total of 500 patients were screened at multiple research sites at UCLA, USC and in Guadalajara, Mexico. These screenings that would normally have taken months to complete due to the limited resources were performed quickly and were life-changing for participants.
This research is emblematic of the pioneering, game changing research that is driving the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research since its inception. Keeping a clear focus on our research agenda, continuously expanding our reach in supporting global research and developing new life-saving technology, the Foundation is well positioned to grow in every mission related initiative.
For every dollar donated to the Foundation, 82 cents goes back into programs, and we are exceptionally proud of that number.