Research we are funding.
The incidence of brain metastasis developing in patients with breast cancer is much higher than commonly recognized. In certain subtypes of breast cancer (HER2-positive and triple negative), roughly one in two HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients develope brain metastasis. Adding to the complexity of the problem, 1 in 3 patients identified as having brain metastasis do not have any readily identifiable symptoms. Early detection of brain metastasis can significantly alter treatment approaches and improve patient outcomes; however, the current standards of care do not readily facilitate this detection.
The Handler Hope Foundation has made a $25,000 gift to Huntingtin Hospital to help empower Northwell Health to obtain and publish research data that would alter current screening practices for brain metastasis among patients with HER2 positive and triple negative breast cancers. The current standard of care results in such screening only when patients are already symptomatic. We hypothesize screening should begin much earlier—within a year of diagnosis—with continued screening annually. We are confident that new guidelines will facilitate much earlier detection and treatment, significantly improving the standard of care and overall patient prognosis.
Funding from Handler Hope Foundation’s gift will establish the “Lauren Handler Research Fund” to support this essential research.
In the short-term, this funding would underwrite the costs of a research nurse or student researcher required to create the project data bank and perform the initial data collection necessary to conduct the proposed studies:
- Conduct a detailed evaluation and analysis of the Huntington Regional Cancer Center database for patients with HER2 positive and triple negative breast cancer subtypes for brain metastasis incidence, clinical course, and survival data
- Establish a prospective study for newly diagnosed patients with HER2 positive and triple-negative breast cancer subtypes. This would incorporate brain screening at the time of diagnosis, as well as screening imaging every six months.
Support we've been able to provide.
We were able to purchase a multi-functional chair for the cancer center in Huntington Hospital that can be used by loved ones staying overnight with a patient. The chairs work as a sleeper for guests, a recliner for patients, but can also be used when eating or completing physical therapy.