CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – A huge donation for the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center.
An anonymous donor has given the center $25 million to establish a center for triple-negative breast cancer.
The gift was made in gratitude for the care a family member received at UNC.
Dr. Lisa Carey is a medical oncologist with UNC-Chapel Hill who specializes in treating breast cancer patients.
She will lead the new center.
“This is so important because we want to be able to do better and my patients want us to do better, everyone wants us to do better and a gift like this is transformative in that regard,” said Carey.
The record-setting gift will help the cancer center advance its groundbreaking research on diagnosing and treating the highly aggressive breast cancer that disproportionately affects black, Latina, and young women.
It accounts for roughly 10 percent to 20 percent of breast cancer cases in the United States and has a high risk of spreading beyond the breast and recurring despite treatment.
The only current standard of care involves chemotherapy.
“So hormone receptors for example or too much of HER2, these are things that we have drugs against,” said Dr. Carey. “Triple-negative doesn’t have any of those targets. We have nothing specific to shoot at which means we are totally reliant on chemotherapy and immunotherapy that helps the immune system.”
The gift will also support research directed toward developing more effective treatments for metastatic disease, improving pediatric cancer care, and eliminating racial disparities in cancer treatment outcomes.
“The truth is that scientific advances and deadly diseases tend to help other deadly diseases and the intention is absolutely that this forms a ripple effect, and that’s what they want and that’s certainly what we want,” Carey said.