Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women; this year more than 21,000 will develop breast cancer. Approximately one-quarter will lose their battle against this deadly disease. Education and healthy lifestyles can greatly reduce the risk of developing this disease. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Canada. The MUHC offers these experts on breast cancer:
Genetics, estrogen and breast cancer tumors
Dr. Vincent Giguère, Director, MUHC Molecular Oncology Group
Dr. Giguère's recent research on breast cancer genetics has advanced our understanding of estrogen and the growth of breast cancer cells. Using cutting edge technology from the human genome project, Dr. Giguère identified 153 genes that respond to estrogen, and one that can be used to halt the growth of breast cancer cells. By inactivating this gene — known as FOXA1 — in laboratory cell cultures, Dr. Giguère's team was able to block the growth-inducing effect of estrogen, and thus halt the growth of breast cancer cells.
Stamping out breast cancer
Dr. David Fleiszer, Co-director, Cedars Breast Clinic at the MUHC
As a general surgeon and co-director of the Cedars Breast Clinic at the MUHC, Dr. Fleiszer is well positioned to field questions on many aspects of breast cancer, from diagnosis to treatments. A tireless fundraiser, Dr. Fleiszer is part of the MUHC team spearheading the creation of a Canadian breast cancer research stamp that hopes to generate millions of dollars for research in Canada.
'Switching off' breast cancer: Genetics, prevention and cure
Dr. William Muller, MUHC researcher, CRC Research Chair and professor in the Dept. of Biochemistry
Dr. Muller was part of a team of researchers that identified a significant new player in breast cancer — a gene known as beta-1 integrin. The landmark paper, published in the journal Cancer Cell, highlighted the gene's vital role in the initiation and development of breast cancer tumors.
The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. The MUHC is a merger of five teaching hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University — the Montreal Children's, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, and Montreal Neurological Hospitals, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of the founding hospitals, the goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge.