Preventing Breast Cancer Recurrence

Rosenbloom family
“For seven years after beating breast cancer, my wife Lynn was happy and healthy, but her cancer returned. When recurrent and metastatic breast cancer took Lynn’s life, I knew I had to do something—especially to ensure a hopeful future for my three daughters. The Abramson Cancer Center provided Lynn top-of-the-line care, and I want to support the doctors who fought for her—and continue to fight to eliminate recurrent breast cancer.”

– Jerry Rosenbloom, MA, PhD, grateful family member

Lynn Rosenbloom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, and after a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, drug therapies, and steroids, she entered remission. Then a routine physical in 2009, where she mentioned that there was a twinge-like pain in her side, revealed the breast cancer had recurred in her liver.

Lynn immediately began treatment, and after feeling severe side effects from many different forms of harsh chemotherapy, she came to Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) for a second opinion. She met with Kevin R. Fox, MD, co-Director of Rena Rowan Breast Center, and later with the help of Angela DeMichele, MD, MSCE, co-Leader of ACC’s Breast Cancer Research Program, and co-Director 2-PREVENT Translational Center for Excellence, and Lewis Chodosh, MD, PhD, J. Samuel Staub Professor of Cancer Biology, co-Director of the 2-PREVENT Translational Center for Excellence, they devised a treatment plan to try and fight her disease, and also allow her a better quality of life. Unfortunately before Lynn could begin a promising clinical trial to help save her, she lost her battle with breast cancer on June 23, 2013.

“Lynn never complained—not once—during her entire cancer journey,” Lynn’s husband, Jerry Rosenbloom, recalls. “She always said, ‘It is what it is.’ But I know Drs. Fox and DeMichele, and Lynn’s entire care team at the Abramson Cancer Center, helped her keep her positive attitude going. They were incredible, and designed a treatment plan that gave her a good quality of life.”

The 2-PREVENT Translational Center of Excellence

Jerry learned of the Abramson Cancer Center’s 2-PREVENT Translational Center of Excellence (TCE)—the first and only center of its kind dedicated solely to breast cancer recurrence. The mission of the 2-PREVENT TCE is to work together as a multi-disciplinary team to understand why some women have breast cancer recurrence through prediction, prevention, monitoring, detection, and treatment measures. Traditionally, breast cancer research and treatment has focused on the original tumor as a guide to treat a relapse. Now scientists are realizing that cancers that recur are biologically very different from the original cancer that formed in the breast.

“In an incredibly short amount of time the 2-PREVENT TCE has made great strides in recurrent breast cancer research. Through several studies that identify circulating tumor cells and establish genetic fingerprinting of recurrent metastatic breast cancer, this Center is working with talented scientists towards a common goal: helping our patients become and remain cancer-free,” shares Dr. DeMichele.

Jerry, a Frederick H. Ecker Emeritus Professor of Insurance and Risk Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, relates to cancer research from a unique perspective. “Risk management is what the 2-PREVENT TCE is doing, including clinical level research and pharmaceutical research,” he explains. “Everyone is working together—it made sense. I was very impressed with how much has already happened, and that is when I decided to make a donation.”

The Lynn and Jerry Rosenbloom Family Breast Cancer Recurrence Surveillance Fund supports a series of investigations that will further evaluate how recurrent breast cancer tumors survive. Jerry hopes that this research will show why treatment can stop working, identify the risk percentage of cancer returning, and create a better method of testing—so that people like Lynn will have better options and outcomes.

Jerry decided to create this fund in honor of his wife and to bring hope to future generations, including his three daughters, who are all University of Pennsylvania graduates, “Throughout Lynn’s treatment, our daughters were incredibly present and supportive. For their sake and everyone else’s, I want researchers to figure out what causes cancer to come back after it is in remission, and I hope the 2-PREVENT TCE at the Abramson Cancer Center will find an answer.”

To become a philanthropic partner of the 2-PREVENT TCE, or for any additional information, contact Laura Ferraiolo at 215-746-2948 or lferr@upenn.edu.

About this Blog

The Penn Medicine Giving blog highlights and promotes philanthropic contributions to Penn Medicine and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

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