Global illumination on breast cancer research

Bonython Hall illuminated in pink for the launch of the National Breast Cancer Foundation's annual Pink Ribbon Campaign

Bonython Hall illuminated in pink for the launch of the National Breast Cancer Foundation's annual Pink Ribbon Campaign
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Bonython Hall illuminated pink for the launch of the National Breast Cancer Foundation's annual Pink Ribbon Campaign

Bonython Hall illuminated pink for the launch of the National Breast Cancer Foundation's annual Pink Ribbon Campaign
Full Image (169.98K)

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The University of Adelaide's historic Bonython Hall will be glowing pink tonight, Wednesday 24 September, to help launch this year's National Breast Cancer Foundation's annual Pink Ribbon Campaign.

For the first time in the event's seven-year history, Australian universities will be illuminated to represent the critical role of research in increasing understanding and treatment of breast cancer.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide are investigating a link between combined hormone replacement therapy (cHRT) and an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Research led by Professor Wayne Tilley, Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, is showing how a component of Australia's most commonly prescribed form of cHRT - medoroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) - disrupts normal hormone action in breast tissue, potentially promoting the development of breast cancer.

"The relative importance and validity of the association between exposure to cHRT containing MPA and breast cancer risk remain highly controversial topics," says Professor Tilley.

"This research is providing some basic scientific evidence that describes how MPA can influence the formation or promotion of breast cancer."

The researchers have found that MPA disrupts the action of androgen in the breast. While commonly thought to be important only in males, androgen protects against breast cancer by suppressing oestrogen activity in the breast. Suppressing oestrogen limits the amount of normal growth that occurs and potentially reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.

The Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories is a joint University of Adelaide and Hanson Institute facility.

National Breast Cancer Foundation Chief Executive Officer Ms Sue Murray said the Global Illumination event was a unique way of raising awareness of breast cancer among the community.

"Illuminating the universities acknowledges that ongoing, sustained research is what holds the key to unlocking the mysteries of this devastating disease, which claims the lives of more than 2,600 women a year.

"Australian universities and research institutions are producing some world-class results in breast cancer research. This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight that to the broader community, and encourage their continued support."

Bonython Hall will be illuminated in pink from 6pm to midnight on Wednesday 24 September to coincide with the official launch of Breast Cancer Month.

The Global Illumination event was initiated by the Estee Lauder Companies to light significant landmarks and monuments around the world pink - from Niagara Falls to the Sydney Opera House - raising vital funds for research into the prevention, detection and treatment of breast cancer.

The NBCF is the leading community-funded national organisation in Australia raising money for research into the prevention, detection and treatment of breast cancer. Since the NBCF was established in 1994, over $44.5 million has been awarded to Australian-based researchers across every state and territory, to improve the health and wellbeing of those affected by breast cancer.

 

Contact Details

Professor Wayne Tilley
Email: wayne.tilley@adelaide.edu.au
Director, Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories
Adelaide Medical School
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7861
Mobile: 0417 807 895


Dr Theresa Hickey
Email: theresa.hickey@imvs.sa.gov.au
Senior Research Fellow, Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories
Adelaide Medical School
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7858
Mobile: +61 416 697 399


Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084