Susan G. Komen-Funded Research Reveals How Obesity Impacts Breast Cancer Treatment and Patient Outcomes

Susan G. Komen®, the world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, today hailed work led by Komen researcher Dr. Elizabeth Wellberg and team at the University of Colorado Cancer Center which sheds new light on how obesity can negatively impact treatment and lead to poorer outcomes for postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER+) breast cancer.

This new laboratory research, published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, shows that obesity promotes the way ER+ tumors progress and become resistant to endocrine therapy through a protein called FGFR1. Though more research is needed, targeting FGFR1 could help reverse the negative effects that obesity has on treatment response, ultimately improving survival for ER+ breast cancer patients who may be overweight or obese at the time of treatment.

Dr. Wellberg’s work shows us that to deliver effective breast cancer treatment and improve outcomes, it’s important to look at the full picture of a patient’s health, and not just the characteristics of their tumor,” said Victoria Wolodzko, SVP of Mission at Komen.

 “This work not only provides a treatment target (in FGFR1) which may someday help women and men facing ER+ breast cancer, but supports a growing body of evidence that weight loss could play a critical role in breast cancer treatment in the future.”

“Dr. Wellberg exemplifies why Komen continues to invest in early career breast cancer researchers with promising ideas that will help us achieve our goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by half by 2026,” said Wolodzko.

To date, Komen has invested more than $956 million in breakthrough breast cancer research – the largest nonprofit breast cancer research investment outside of the U.S. government. Read more about this groundbreaking research from University of Colorado Cancer Center.

About Susan G. Komen San Diego
Since its inception in 1995, Susan G. Komen San Diego has invested more than $19 million to global breast cancer research and local breast health services. Susan G. Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government. Nearly 40 percent of our research investment is focused on metastatic disease and much of that investment has been awarded to scientists in San Diego. Locally, Komen San Diego provides free mammograms, biopsies, ultrasounds, MRIs, care coordination, education and financial assistance for breast cancer patients’ most critical needs during treatment. The organization also has a robust public policy and advocacy arm to ensure healthcare access and scientific progress. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Seventy-five percent of every dollar raised in San Diego stays in San Diego County to fund breast health services for uninsured and underinsured women and their families. The remaining 25 percent funds international breast cancer research. For more information, please visit www.komensandiego.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $956 million in research and provided more than $2.1 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 60 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. That promise has become Komen’s promise to all people facing breast cancer. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.