Through the Era of Hope program, Burg is expanding her research from the re-growth of breast tissue lost to lumpectomy or mastectomy to the growth of breast tissue as a scientific test bed. This work could lead to the faster development of drug-based treatments and prevention methods, which ultimately could save thousands of lives.
"This research helps address a problem that has always been noted in the literature: lack of suitable three-dimensional tissue culture models," Burg said. "Until now, we've been largely limited by two-dimensional models, which don't accurately reflect cell behaviour in the human body."
A three-dimensional test bed comprised of human cells will help researchers: decipher cell-to-cell communication, discern if drugs pose serious side effects to healthy cells and develop treatments, getting them to the market and to patients faster.
Statistically, one in seven women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2004 alone, it was predicted that 215,990 women in the US would be diagnosed with the disease - 40,110 would die from it.
MEDICA.de; Source: Clemson University