For more than 40 years, Hank Kaplan, M.D., has cared for our community with an unparalleled level of compassion. He’s also pioneered a revolutionary approach to breast cancer research at the Swedish Cancer Institute for decades. Dr. Kaplan and his team are abandoning the one-size-fits-all approach to treatment in favor of custom therapies that treat each patient individually.
Though we’ve seen an overall decline in breast cancer, it still accounts for one-third of all cancer diagnoses in women each year.
But your gift to the Kaplan Cancer Research Fund can give hundreds of thousands of women—perhaps your mom, sister, daughter or friend—hope for a healthier tomorrow. Your investment will help Dr. Kaplan and his team embark on a new understanding of cancer, its treatment and how we care for women today and in the future.
Your philanthropic support can alter the direction of breast cancer and thrust open the door for profound, life-changing discoveries.
Dr. Kaplan and our multidisciplinary team are leading research that is disrupting the norm and has the potential to transform how we treat patients with breast cancer.
Can a virus cause breast cancer?
In collaboration with the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, we’re exploring a possible link between a common virus called cytomegalovirus and breast cancer. If a definitive link can be found, we would be one step closer to developing a vaccine that could stop breast cancer before it starts.
Preventing unnecessary surgery
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a precancerous condition that rarely progresses to invasive breast cancer. But because it’s impossible to predict when—or even if—that will happen, women often undergo lumpectomies or mastectomies unnecessarily. In the hopes of preventing those unnecessary surgeries, Dr. Kaplan and his team are studying cases where DCIS cells do progress to better predict when it will happen.
As experimental drugs become available, we need to be prepared to initiate and conduct the clinical trials that can determine their effectiveness. And over the years Swedish has become a leader in the field. While preventing breast cancer altogether is the ultimate goal of any oncologist, finding novel treatments for those currently fighting the disease is critical for the foreseeable future.
The foundation for virtually all of Dr. Kaplan’s research is the Swedish Breast Cancer Registry. This one-of-a-kind resource includes valuable data from more than 18,500 patients, tracking them from initial diagnosis through treatment. Not only has the registry and its wealth of information spawned dozens of studies, it has also led to partnerships that expand our research’s reach beyond the Pacific Northwest.
Publishing research allows us to help more patents in more places by making our findings available to everyone.
Last year donors like you gave nearly $1.5 million to support the Kaplan Cancer Research Fund (KCRF), giving our patients access to the newest, most promising research-based therapies to treat their cancer.