Purdue Center for Cancer Research helps with breast tissue bank
LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Women filled Clarian Arnett Cancer Care to donate breast tissue for the Susan G. Komen For The Cure tissue bank at Indiana University.
"This is what normal people can do to change the history of what we can do in breast cancer research," said Co-Principal Investigator Susan Clare.
More than one hundred women volunteered to donate. The tissue bank is designed to provide breast cancer researchers samples of both normal and cancerous tissue for molecular comparison. Clare says this type of collection is truly unique.
"There is nobody else like us in the entire world. It might seem intuitively obvious that we should have had normal controls for breast cancer research, but that there really haven't been," said Clare.
Clare says comparing normal to cancerous samples of breast tissue will allow breast cancer research to become more focused.
"If you do an experiment on a tissue that's cancerous and you find a molecular change how do you know that that's important. It could be really important. It could be driving the cancer, or it could be a bystander effect. It's just there, but not important. If it's there in the normal you can rule it out, it's not important. If it's not there in the normal, you've got a target...you can spend money and career time and really go after this because it's important," said Clare.
Debby Volenec is a breast cancer survivor of twenty years. Her daughters, Joanne, Jessica, and Jeena all donated.
"She did this down in Indy and when I heard they were coming up here to Lafayette I thought what better of a way to spend a Saturday morning than do this so we kind of did this for my mom," said Jeena Volenec.
"It feels great to be able to give back knowing that it's a good cause. I wasn't nervous at all, but I can't say that about my other sisters though," said Joanne Volenec.
"I was very very nervous when I walked in, but in the back of my head I thought "If my mom can do this...if my mom can do all the stuff that she did...going through the chemo and fighting the cancer off then I can give a little bit of tissue and blood and it's not going to be a problem," said Jessica Volenec.
"I'm very proud of them for coming to do this twenty years ago I didn't know that I would be able to be here. I didn't know I would see them as young adults, but I think we have made incredible progress with breast cancer detection, breast cancer treatment, so that I'm alive twenty years later so I can watch my daughters participate in an event like this," said Debby Volenec.
Susan Clare says in addition to doing research at the bank the tissue samples collected are available to breast cancer researchers throughout the world, and that they have already sent samples to researchers in Australia.