UNM, MD Anderson Unite Against Breast Cancer

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sam Giammo, HSC Director of Public Affairs, 505-272-3682; 505/249-2107 December 3, 2007 ALBUQUERQUE , NM – The University of New Mexico today signed an agreement with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, to create a powerful research alliance to find causes and cures for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). The signing ceremony, which took place in the Rotunda at the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe, signals a commitment to contribute to the research that will lead to advanced treatments for IBC. New Mexico is leading a national effort to fight IBC, a very aggressive and often deadly form of breast cancer that more frequently strikes younger women. Less than 40 percent of IBC patients live longer than 5 years. As IBC can be more difficult to detect by traditional mammography and imaging techniques, it can be more difficult to diagnose and presents at an advanced stage. Principals at the signing ceremony were James H. Koch, President of the UNM Board of Regents; UNM President Dr. David Schmidly; UNM Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Paul Roth; UNM Cancer Center Director Dr. Cheryl Willman; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Research Program Director Dr. Massimo Cristofanalli; New Mexico State Senator Tim Jennings, and his wife, Patty. Patty Jennings, a breast cancer survivor, and her husband, Senator Jennings, spearheaded the effort with the New Mexico Legislature to fund a research project solely for IBC. Lawmakers appropriated $3.2 million for IBC research.

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