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Decades after the "War on Cancer" was launched—the Cancer Moonshot being the latest battle in that war—tens of thousands of women still die each year from breast cancer. And the billions of dollars spent on cruel and ineffective experiments on monkeys, rats, mice, rabbits, cats, dogs, and other animals—who are injected with chemicals or cancer cells and forced to endure the growth of painful tumors until they die or are killed—have hindered our search for better treatments.
The use of animals for breast cancer research is unreliable because of animals' significant genetic, cellular, and physiological differences from humans. Breast cancer survivor and National Breast Cancer Coalition founder Fran Visco has stated that "[a]nimals don't reflect the reality of cancer in humans," and former National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Richard Klausner has noted that "[t]he history of cancer research has been the history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn't work in humans." Yet animals continue to suffer and die as a result of these ineffective experiments, and the misleading results prolong the suffering of women who need a cure now.
A landmark paper recently published in the journal Nature concluded that one of the most common methods of studying human cancer in mice—which involves implanting pieces of human tumors into the animals—dramatically changes the tumor's genetic profile, making them less human-like. For breast cancer tumors specifically, some of the hallmark human genetic indicators disappeared in the mouse models. The mice also had different responses to drugs than humans do, meaning that these experiments were meaningless and potentially misleading for human patients.
Humane, non-animal research is being conducted by compassionate organizations such as the Avon Foundation and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation that focus on how breast cancer starts in women's bodies and on identifying ways to combat the genetic and environmental factors that increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Please send emails to the following urging them to support only scientifically sound, humane research:
- Victoria Wolodzko, Senior Vice President of Mission of Susan G. Komen, at [email protected]
- Cristina Aibino, Executive Director of American-Italian Cancer Foundation, at [email protected]
- Claudine Isaacs, MD, Co-Director of Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, at [email protected]
Then, take a minute to send a single e-mail that'll go to the executives of the following organizations that fund animal experiments: the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, American Cancer Society, National Breast Cancer Foundation, and Entertainment Industry Foundation. Ask them to stop supporting these cruel studies.
Putting your subject line and letter into your own words will help to draw attention to your e-mail.