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From Concept to Clinical Trial – Finding a Cure for Cancers Affecting Women

Mary Kay Ash Foundation funds innovative clinical trial for Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer with Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation

Dr. Joyce O’Shaughnessy, a medical oncologist who focuses on breast cancer prevention and treatment, was looking for funding for the third and final trial in a series of clinical trials for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) when the Mary Kay Ash Foundation became the lead funder with a $100,000 donation to the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation in 2019.

TNBC is a high-risk breast cancer with few effective treatment options for patients. It usually affects younger women, African American women, and women with a BRCA1 genetic mutation. Compared with other breast cancer subtypes, TNBC is associated with a worse prognosis, including a shorter time to recurrence in early-stage disease (within 3 years), and a shorter time between recurrence and death in the metastatic setting (between 9-12 months).

The initial donation helped launch the first phase of the clinical trial for 20 metastatic TNBC patients. The Mary Kay Ash Foundation donated $100,000 again in 2020, allowing Dr. O’Shaughnessy to launch a second phase of the study, which looks to determine whether the administration of bortezomib increases sensitivity of cancer cells and effectiveness of the chemotherapy and immunotherapy that follows.

The additional grant allows Dr. O’Shaughnessy with the option to modify the clinical trial to give all three drugs simultaneously to the second cohort of 10 patients. If outcomes are good, this funding will help to provide this treatment to additional patients beyond the original 20 in the study.

Dr OShaughnessy
Dr. Joyce O’Shaughnessy leads innovative clinical trial for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer at Baylor Scott & White Dallas.