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18th May 2018

Breast Cancer Breakthroughs that will Save Lives

Dr Pallave Dasari and Amita Gautam Ghade

Unfortunately, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and talented researcher Dr Pallave Dasari is working to change this statistic.

Thanks to our loyal supporters, ABCR has proudly supported Dr Dasari, from the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research, through a three-year $80,000 Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Throughout the fellowship, Dr Dasari focused on the human breast tissue to understand the basic processes of the breast and how it may contribute to the development of breast cancer.

“Around 30 per cent of cancers for women is in the breast. We are trying to understand why the breast is so susceptible to cancer,” Dr Dasari said.

“Throughout my fellowship and with the help of PhD student Vahid Atashgaran, we researched the role of the immune system and hormones in breast biology and how they affect the immune system.

“We discovered that the immune system does react to estrogen and progesterone hormones throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. In the second half of the cycle when progesterone is high, the immune system dampens, allowing an increased risk of breast cancer to occur.

“This was very interesting to find out.”

Thanks to the support of our incredible donors, Dr Dasari and her team can now further develop this research and look at other breast cancer risks.

“I currently supervise two PhD students; Maddison Archer who is researching the immune system in breast density and how they’re interlinked, and Amita Gautam Ghade who is focusing on how fat in breast development impacts the risk of breast cancer.

“I am part of Associate Professor Wendy Ingman’s research team who are pioneering research into breast density notifications and how that can affect a breast cancer diagnosis.”

In addition to her ground-breaking research, Dr Dasari established a human breast tissue biobank thanks to the fellowship.

“I created a piece of research infrastructure for our group, a bank of healthy human breast tissue, living cells and demographic data that the students can use to get a more comprehensive picture of the questions around breast biology and cancer.

“So far we have over 90 patients’ tissue and we are continuing to recruit. This biobank will enable us to get more accurate results from our research as we are using human tissue.

“A lot of my research has now stemmed from the seed funding generously provided by Australian Breast Cancer Research and your loyal donors. This grant allowed me to establish myself more in my career in medical research and build on my experience and rapport by publishing articles.

“I am grateful for the support and am excited to see what’s to come in the future.”

You can support research like Dr Dasari’s! Call us on 08 8445 2453 to make a donation today. Your support will save lives from this heartbreaking disease.