The Avon Foundation has awarded $10 million to the
Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins to
build a new breast center, support research designed to
decrease breast cancer incidence and death rates, and fund
education and outreach initiatives. It is the largest gift
ever to the Cancer Center's breast cancer program, and
Johns Hopkins is one of only six institutions receiving
this level of funding and the only cancer center in the
"The Avon Foundation gift represents a multifaceted
breast cancer initiative that will favorably impact all
areas of our breast cancer program including prevention,
diagnosis, treatment, research and education," said Nancy
E. Davidson, director of the Breast Cancer Program at
Construction of the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation
Breast Center will bring together into one facility experts
and state-of-the-art imaging equipment and technology to
provide full coordination of care, from prevention and
detection through diagnosis, surgical treatment and
post-operative care. Services will include film and digital
mammography, breast ultrasound, surgical consultations,
image-guided interventional procedures, patient education
and support services.
Martin D. Abeloff, director of the Johns Hopkins
Kimmel Cancer Center, said, "This gift will help us expand
upon breakthroughs in many areas of breast cancer research.
But equally important is the opportunity it gives us to
develop new programs that reach out to underserved
populations suffering disproportionately from this
Part of the gift establishes the Avon Foundation
Access to Breast Health Initiative, which provides outreach
and screening to underserved minority and low-income women
in Baltimore. Through already established partnerships,
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center experts are working with
community centers to reduce disproportionately high
incidence and death rates from breast cancer.
The third component of the gift supports research
aimed at uncovering new biologic targets for preventing,
detecting and treating breast disease. Among the research
projects to be funded with the Avon Foundation gift are:
The use of ductal lavage for
breast cancer detection. This procedure examines cells
"washed" from the lining of the breast ducts, where cancer
most frequently originates, to look for abnormalities.
The search for genetic and
cellular pathways receptive to hormone-based treatments.
Identification of molecular
markers that enhance risk assessment, diagnosis and the
ability to monitor treatment responses.
Identification of proteomic
patterns that would indicate those cancers most likely to
recur and become metastatic.
Attempts to use drugs to silence
or "turn off" newly identified pathways that contribute to
breast cancer development.
Kathleen Walas, president of the Avon Foundation,
said, "The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is one of the
leading research institutions currently funded by the Avon
Foundation. The funds raised through the Avon Foundation
Breast Cancer Crusade are dedicated to providing access to
care for all women and finding a cure for breast cancer. We
are proud to provide funding which will bring quality
breast cancer care to underserved communities and enable
continued breakthrough research to eradicate the
The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is a
comprehensive cancer center as designated by the National
Cancer Institute, and the only such center in Maryland.
Each year, its breast team performs more than 500 surgical
procedures, 9,000 mammograms, 2,000 ultrasounds and 1,300
image-guided interventional procedures. The center also is
the recipient of a prestigious NCI SPORE (Specialized
Programs in Research Excellence) in breast cancer.
The Avon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, was
founded in 1955 with a mission to improve the lives of
women by supporting programs that offer economic
opportunity and provide care and research for breast cancer
in the United States and around the world.
In support of women's health, the Avon Breast Cancer
Crusade began in the United Kingdom in 1992 and has
expanded to 50 countries. Funds are raised through special
events, product sales, walks, runs, concerts and other
marketing initiatives. The focus is on reaching the
medically underserved population, including minorities, the
poor, elderly and under- and uninsured, with a mission to
fund access to care and find a cure for breast cancer.
Since 1992 the Avon Crusade has returned more than $250
million net to breast cancer research and care