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Breast Research Program

The Breast Research Program at Loyola University Health System is a major program of the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center and the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Oncology Institute. Clinical research physicians and basic scientists work in close collaboration to develop innovative treatments and diagnostic techniques for breast cancer patients as well as preventive strategies for patients at risk of developing breast cancer.

“Translational research” defines the program’s philosophy. Translational research converts cellular, genetic and molecular discoveries into actual tools for patient care. These tools may encompass disease treatment, diagnosis and prevention. In contrast to traditional research, which focuses on proving a hypothesis or treating a diagnosis, translational research connects the laboratory and clinic. The result is improved patient care.

Loyola’s Breast Preclinical Research Program works directly with the Breast Clinical Research Program to provide promising clinical research studies for our patients, as well as offer a broad menu of national and international clinical trials. Together, these programs have produced initiatives that are at the national and international forefront of breast cancer research both in the laboratory and in the clinic.

The Breast Preclinical Research Program is focused on basic science research of breast cancer and takes place in laboratories ("research bench"). The program includes several research teams that are exploring novel breast cancer medications, therapeutic targets, diagnostic biomarkers and sophisticated investigations of the molecular basis for rational and targeted therapies.

The Breast Clinical Research Program involves a team of medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurse researchers and other professionals, directed by Kathy S. Albain, MD. This research is conducted in clinics or in the hospital setting (clinical research or "bedside"). Dr. Albain is internationally recognized for her role in developing new treatment paradigms for breast cancer and for her cancer survivorship studies.

In the case of Loyola's Breast Research Program, the bedside-to-bench-to-bedside collaborations are critical for a meaningful and successful research program.