Hadassah doctor, scientist, awarded $200,000 for breast cancer research

One out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

Breast cancer (illustrative photo) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Breast cancer (illustrative photo)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Hadassah Medical Center's Dr. Albert Grinshpun was chosen to receive a $200,000 grant for his research on breast cancer that will be co-funded by The Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), and the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). 
“This grant will allow the Hadassah Breast Cancer research group and me to develop an early diagnosis blood test for the detection of early-stage breast cancer. Personally, the grant came at a perfect time to development my career path as a translational researcher," said Dr. Grinshpun.
His research is significant due to not only the frequency at which breast cancer is diagnosed, but the invasiveness of common biopsy methods of masses found. Dr. Grinshpun's model is significantly less invasive.
"We aim to change the medical practice by developing an accurate minimally-invasive alternative for standard breast biopsy," said Dr. Grinshpun in a statement.
According to Dr. Grinshpun, one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. In the US alone, one-million women undergo breast biopsies per year, 20% of which yield a positive diagnosis. Moreover, a significant number of women undergo more than a single breast biopsy during life.
The standard method of performing a biopsy is risky and involves a needle insertion into the breast with accompanying discomfort. 
His project involves enhancing and improving a universal liquid biopsy approach to detect breast-derived circulating cell-free DNA in patients with breast cancer.
"In this proposal we intend to further enhance and improve our liquid biopsy method, validate its better performance and test its capabilities in a real-life scenario; women who undergo breast imaging and are referred to an invasive biopsy," said Dr. Grinshpun.
Upon receiving the award, Dr. Grinshpun will become the first recipient of Conquer Cancer -Israel Cancer Research Fund Career Development Award, given to support high quality clinical oncology research. The $200,000 in grant money will be dispersed over the course of a three-year period. 
ICRF enhances its grants programs with collaborations with other like minded organizations, including City of Hope Cancer Research Institute, and and the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. This year, it teamed up with ASCO in order to co-fund the grant created to support physicians-scientists during their first few years of faculty appointment when funding is difficult to obtain. 
Notably, ASCO is the world’s leading professional organization for physicians and oncology professionals caring for people with cancer.
Since its founding in 1975, ICRF has awarded more than $77 million in grants to support groundbreaking research conducted at every leading institution across Israel. Over 2,500 projects have been funded to date, with 69 cancer reach projects being funded in 2020-2021. 
“We look for organizations committed to collaborative funding, that are open minded about researchers at various levels of career development and enthusiastic about Israel’s performance in biomedical sciences,” noted ICRF National Executive Director, Dr. Mark Israel. 
“The significant history of ASCO’s Conquer Cancer in reaching out to individuals in other countries whose careers were evolving, made it a natural fit for collaboration,” Dr. Israel added.