October 31, 2019
The Mary Kay FoundationSM, a decades-long leader in the mission to eliminate cancers affecting women, recently donated $100,000 to Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation to help fund research conducted by Dr. Joyce O’Shaughnessy, breast oncologist with TEXAS Oncology and the Celebrating Women Chair in breast cancer research at Baylor University Medical Center. Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s deep portfolio of research includes the study of triggers that may cause heightened sensitivity of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells and the effectiveness of therapies based on this sensitivity.
TNBC is a high-risk breast cancer with few effective options for patients. It usually affects younger women, African American women, and women with a BRCA1 genetic mutation. Compared with other breast cancer subtypes, TNBC is associated with a worse prognosis, including shorter time to recurrence in early-stage diseases (within 3 years) and a shorter time between recurrence and death in the metastatic setting (between 9-12 months).
“At The Mary Kay Foundation, our mission is to eradicate cancers that affect women around the world, and each year we invest millions in groundbreaking research and support for organizations like Baylor Scott & White,” said Dr. Lucy Gildea, Chief Scientific Officer of Mary Kay Inc. “We’re honored to help fund Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s potentially lifesaving research, and we look forward to following along and learning how these results might impact the prognosis of metastatic TNBC patients in the future.”
Dr. O’Shaughnessy has focused her research on the metastatic TNBC population due to the very high, unmet medical need. Dr. O’Shaughnessy has worked with Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, which oversees research efforts and provides staffing and other clinical support for the healthcare system, to also design and develop Investigator Initiated Studies examining TNBC.
“The goal of this work is to understand more about the pathways that might allow patients to achieve highly durable complete responses to their treatment and to determine the molecular characteristics of TNBCs that predict the benefit from different treatment strategies,” said Dr. O’Shaughnessy. “This type of work could expand the options available to patients with metastatic diseases and bring greater hope to those in need.”
“As the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas, Baylor Scott & White relies upon generous donations from organizations like The Mary Kay FoundationSM to continue our innovative research on behalf of patients,” said Rowland K. Robinson, president of Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation. “We’ve seen promising results from Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s trials so far. And, with The Mary Kay Foundation’s support, we’re hopeful her important work will continue to help us gain additional insight to better serve those with metastatic triple negative breast cancer.”
Over the course of more than two decades, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has awarded more than $80 million to women’s shelters and domestic violence service providers, as well as cancer research programs and related causes throughout the United States.
About The Mary Kay Foundation℠
Guided by Mary Kay Ash’s dream to enrich the lives of women everywhere, The Mary Kay FoundationSM raises and distributes funds to invest in breakthrough cancer research to find a cure for women-related cancers and ending domestic violence against women. Since 1996, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has contributed more than $80 million to organizations aligned with its two-fold mission. In addition, the Foundation supports awareness initiatives, community outreach programs, and advocates for legislation to ensure women are healthy and safe. Together, we can make the world better for women. To learn more about how to educate, advocate, volunteer and donate, and join life-saving work to support and empower women, visit marykayfoundation.org, find us on Facebook and Instagram, or follow us on Twitter.