Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, challenges the status quo to achieve a future without breast cancer and improve the lives of people impacted by it now through education and advocacy. We drive collaborative cutting-edge research on cause and prevention with nontraditional partners, bring to light the collateral damage of treatment and seek ways to diminish it, and interpret science to empower patients.
We drive progress by being fast, flexible, and project-based. We actively engage the public in our scientific research to ensure that it produces accurate and meaningful results.
The work of Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation falls into four distinct categories:
- We conduct our own cutting-edge breast cancer research in collaboration with some of the top researchers from across the country and often with unconventional partners. For example, working with image recognition software developers, two major universities, and across borders, we are currently engaged in an NIH-funded study of a self-reading portable ultrasound device. Our aim is to devise an affordable, locally available way for medical practitioners in resource-challenged countries to triage women with palpable breast lumps so those with cancer can get treatment promptly. We are also partnering with a world-renowned institution that is expert in imaging and data analysis for space exploration to figure out the uncharted anatomy of the breast ductal system so we can figure out how and where a cancer starts.
- We facilitate participation in our own research and in the research of others through the Army of Women®. Launched in October 2008, thanks to a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women, the program’s goal is to recruit women and men of every ethnicity, with or without breast cancer, and those at high risk, to be a resource for leading researchers addressing critical questions. Participants in the program sign up to participate in breast cancer research studies looking into causes and prevention of the disease, quality of life issues experienced during and after treatment, and drugs for prevention or treatment of metastatic breast cancer. We have over 380,000 volunteers from across the country and have worked with over 60 researchers to help them find the right population of people to participate in their research projects. The Army of Women is democratizing the research process and engaging the public to help people understand the importance of participating in research, even before the onset of disease. It has revolutionized the way we mobilize and engage volunteers for a common cause.
- We have established an international online cohort study, the Health of Women (HOW) Study™, in order to track significant numbers of women and men, with and without a history of breast cancer, over time, using a series of questionnaires to delve deeply into the breast cancer conundrum. This study gives us a powerful way to collect patient-reported health information and provides a new model for data sharing within the research community. Through HOW, we are collecting health and environmental exposure information from Army of Women members, as well as the general public, to understand the causes of breast cancer and how to prevent it, as well as potential new risk factors for the disease. HOW also enables us to study long-term breast cancer survivors to discover how they are beating the odds and to document changes to their quality of life caused by breast cancer and its treatments.
- We are committed to empowering patients with vital information about breast cancer in several different ways. Our ImPatient Science™ program translates breast cancer science into digestible segments of easy-to-grasp information in a series of videos featuring Dr. Susan Love. The Breast Cancer Explained section of our website (http://www.drsusanloveresearch.org) provides a wealth of information drawn from Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book. Research Worth Watching features Dr. Love breaking down current and emerging scientific research and concepts to educate patients and their families via blogs, webinars, and other digital media. Finally, our Research Ambassadors for Community Health (ReACH) program focuses on working with local community advocates to increase diversity in our research studies and bring our educational programs to underserved communities.