History of Breastlink Research
The practice of breast oncology has changed dramatically in the almost 20 years since Breastlink Medical Group opened its doors. In 1995, breast cancer clinical research was viewed as the last stop when other treatment options had been exhausted. Always in search of the best options for their patients, the doctors of Breastlink Medical Group sought clinical research opportunities for their patients and referred them to academic medical centers conducting the trials. The clinical trials available at the time were devoted, almost exclusively, to disease treatment with limited focus on prevention, risk reduction, less invasive/more effective diagnostic techniques or quality of life.
Over the course of time, and through a growing scientific understanding of the many faces of breast tumors, clinical research trials were designed to test treatments earlier in the course of the disease. Breastlink Medical Group began to offer participation in clinical research at our Breastlink clinical offices. This provided patients not only convenience and comfort, but most importantly, the ability to receive care that was selected to maximize their potential benefit at every point along the continuum of care.
The concept of personalized medicine is maturing –treatment is no longer conceived of in a “one size fits all” fashion. Increasingly, the uniqueness of each person’s tumor is understood. This understanding allows the creation of treatments that target tumor-specific vulnerabilities. Clinical research is a critical pathway for patients to have access to developing treatments that are based upon the emerging molecular understanding of breast tumors and the way they behave. We are committed to offering patients treatment trials in every setting – from defining non-cancerous breast lesions, to treatment prior to surgery and to the treatment of metastatic disease – based upon our evolving understanding of how tumors behave. Our menu of clinical research studies represents our understanding of breast cancer across the diagnostic and treatment continuum.
Today, Breastlink Research Group (BRG) participates in Phase I through IV drug and device trials in addition to Quality of Life and surgical trials. Breastlink is a member of three National Cancer Institute supported cooperative groups: The Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), and the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG). In addition, BRG conducts trials conceived by Breastlink investigators and participates in trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, device development companies, universities and other agencies.
Breastlink Research Group is guided by one basic goal: to provide our patients access to clinical research that we believe can improve their quantity and quality of life using the most appropriate modalities that science has to offer. We believe that this provides each patient with the care that is right for them– the care that has the greatest potential to maximize effectiveness while minimizing toxic side effects.